And what might happen next.
Funny how perspectives change. Back in April, a 17-seat majority seemed slim to Theresa May. Impossibly crappy. Unworkable, even. As in: “Oh, I’ve only got still water. I need sparkling.”
Now? Now it’s more like: “Of course I’m quite prepared to drink my own urine if needs be.”
Stuck on minus-nine, lost in the wilderness and grimacing, she’d kill for those 17 seats.
It was a strange, lumpy night, one where the BBC especially struggled to keep up with the queasy shifting of the electoral map. No one “back in the studio” seemed to have any great ideas as to what was meant to happen next.
It began with the dynamite exit poll and that strange reality-reset feeling – like when someone glues all your furniture to the ceiling for a prank.
A group of black-clad anarchists surround a far-right activist, pushing him from their protest area and dousing him in silly string. The anti-fascist demonstrators had gathered in Portland in the United States to counter an alt-right rally.
“Nazis go home,” they yell in videos of the incident on Sunday.
Other anti-fascists – or Antifa – set ablaze a blue, black and white version of the US flag that signifies support for the police in a gesture against police brutality.
Columns of police in riot gear, supported by officers from the Department of Homeland Security, stand between the alt-right rally-goers and the Antifa counter-protesters, and although there are only minor skirmishes between them, clashes between the police and Antifa result in the arrest of at least 14 people.
Sunday was just the latest occasion on which Antifa activists and alt-rightists have converged on cities across the US with the intention of fighting.
For Antifa, direct confrontation is a key strategy intended to shut down far-right demonstrations and block platforms for hate speech.
Over the past few months, the alt-right – a loosely knit coalition that includes white supremacists and neo-Nazis – has also focused on building a larger street presence to confront their opponents.
AT THE END OF AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN that was nasty, brutish and short, British voters punished Prime Minister Theresa May at the polls on Thursday, depriving her Conservative Party of its governing majority in Parliament, and forcing her to rely on the support of a small party of extremists from Northern Ireland to stay in office.
Despite a late surge in support for the opposition Labour Party, whose leader Jeremy Corbyn offered a more uplifting vision of the future, the Conservatives managed to hold on to most of their seats, but are now the largest partyin what’s known as a hung Parliament, where no single party can rule without some form of support from at least one other.
May said on Friday that she would govern with the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party, or D.U.P., social conservatives from the Ulster Protestant community whose main aim is keeping Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom.
British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a major setback Thursday in an election that saw her Conservative Party lose its majority in Parliament less than two weeks before the country is scheduled to begin talks over exiting from the European Union. May called the snap election three years early, expecting to win a large mandate to negotiate with European leaders over the terms of the so-called Brexit. Instead, Conservatives were left without a clear majority and a hung Parliament. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who ran on a platform of “For the many, not the few,” said Thursday’s election results show voters are “turning their backs on austerity.” We’re joined by Paul Mason, columnist for The Guardian, and Mehdi Hasan, award-winning British journalist and broadcaster at Al Jazeera English. He is host of the Al Jazeera interview program “UpFront” and a columnist for The Intercept.
The exit poll projecting a hung parliament came as just as much as surprise to Labour’s campaign team as everyone else. One of them, who was with others bunched around a TV at the party headquarters in Victoria Street, London, said: “We were absolutely buzzing.”
There were words of caution that exit polls had proved unreliable in the past. One warned: “Let’s throttle this back.” But it was too late.
Andrew Murray, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s advisers, who helped write his manifesto speech, said: “There was a tremendous moment of elation when the exit poll was announced because it became apparent that the campaign had achieved the most stunning turnaround in public opinion in seven weeks.”
On Thursday morning, the team had prepared plans for about half a dozen scenarios. The best-case scenario, regarded as highly unlikely, was forming a government. The second best, viewed as almost as unlikely, was a hung parliament. The worst case, based on one of the worst of the polls, was the Conservatives on 380 seats, with Labour dropping to 190.