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09th Jun 2017

Here’s how we can have another General Election

Here's what you need to know

Paul Moore

What happens next.

We’re hung like…a UK government.

Excuse the innuendo but that’s the reality that the we’re all waking up to as Jeremy Corbyn has led Labour to just under 13 million votes. Only Tony Blair in 1997, after 18 years of Tory rule, won more.

With the UK General Election ending in a hung parliament, there could be even more political back-and-forth over the next few weeks as the final form of the next government remains to be settled.

Given that there’s no overall majority, the current Conservative Government will stay in office until Theresa May either does a deal – most likely with the DUP – or tenders her resignation which she has been widely asked to do.

In fact, the Prime Minister is expected to address the public at 10am.

If Theresa May resigns, Jeremy Corbyn may be invited by the Queen to form a government, either as a minority, or in coalition with another party or parties.

With 650 MPs in Parliament, 326 seats are needed for an absolute majority in the House of Commons. This being said, 322 MPs should provide the majority because the Speaker does not vote and Sinn Féin have so far declined to take up its seats.

If a coalition government, or a minority government, fails to materialise, it’s very possible that another election will be called.

Ed Balls, the former chancellor, said there would be no coalition, that a minority government would prove too unstable and that we would have a second General Election later this year:

In these circumstances, the Prime Minister usually holds another election at the earliest opportunity to try and gain a working majority. Given the timetable regarding the complex Brexit talks, a second general election would more than likely occur by the end of the year.

A similar situation occurred in 1974 when the February elections produced a hung parliament which to a second election in October.

An election can also be called if MPs pass a motion of no confidence in the government AND an existing or new government fail to win a confidence vote in the Commons within 14 days of the aforementioned no-confidence vote.

Under the terms of The Fixed-Term Parliament Act, an election can be called if two-thirds of MPs vote for it. In that case, Labour and the Tories would need to be united in support of this motion.

Regarding the prospect of another general election, according to the Cabinet Manual, the document that sets out the laws and rules of the government, it’s possible that UK voters could be returning to the polling stations in less than two weeks, although this is highly unlikely.

Raphael Hogarth, journalist for The Times, has posted extracts of the document which reveal the prospect of yet another election.

Here’s the step-by-step process of what could unfurl.