The fallout could include the end of Theresa May, a new election and even the reopening of the Brexit decision

PRIME ministers expect to see their authority battered, but in the election on June 8th Theresa May suffered a grievous blow—and at her own hands, too. In the small hours, exit polls and the early vote count seemed to point not to the solid victory she had hoped for, but to the most surprising election outcome of all: a hung parliament, or at best a tiny Tory majority.

As we went to press, the Tories were losing seats in London and other urban areas, especially where voters opposed Brexit last June. Gains they hoped to make in the north and West Midlands, partly thanks to a collapse of the UK Independence Party, did not offset this. Nor did losses by the Scottish Nationalists in Scotland.

The result is a disaster for Mrs May. She chose to call the election despite having a working, if small, parliamentary majority. And she chose to focus the campaign on her claim of being “strong and stable”. She emerges a diminished figure—probably irreparably so. The Tories have a deserved reputation for being ruthless with leaders who fail to bring home victory. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »