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What is a hung parliament and what happens next?

Find out who will have the chance to form a government following the election result

houses of parliament© Photo: Getty Images
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
June 9, 2017
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The general election has ended in a hung parliament, meaning no party has enough of an overall majority to form a government on their own. With uncertainties over Theresa May's future as prime minister following the surprising result of the snap election, many members of the public have been left wondering what the hung parliament means and how it will be resolved. This is what will happen next…

What is a hung parliament?

A hung parliament happens when no single party can get enough MPs to form a majority on its own. This also happened at the 2010 election.

party leaders© Photo: Getty Images

The 2017 general election has resulted in a hung parliament

What happens after a hung parliament verdict?

Following the hung parliament, the Conservative government will remain in office until it is decided who will attempt to form a new government. It is expected that the Tories will try to form a coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – who won ten seats – after the former leader of the Liberal Democrats said they will make "no pact, no deal, no coalition" in the event of a hung parliament.

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Who will form a government?

Theresa May will have the first opportunity to try and form a majority government in order to stay on as prime minister. However if it becomes clear that she is unable to do so and Jeremy Corbyn can, she will be expected to resign and he would become prime minister. The Labour leader will have to wait until Mrs May has exhausted all of her possible options before he can start putting his own deal together, but he will be able to hold talks with potential partners at the same time.

The Queen© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen will authorise the new government

How long will it take for government to be formed?

There is no official time limit for forming a government, however the first deadline is Tuesday 13 June, when the new Parliament meets for the first time. According to official guidance issued by the Cabinet Office, Theresa May has until this date to either put together a deal to stay in power or resign. She must be clear that Jeremy Corbyn is able to put together a government and she can't, and is entitled to wait and see if she has the confidence of the House of Commons at the new Parliament.

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What role does the Queen have in forming a government?

The leader of the party that can tell the Queen that they have a workable majority is the one who Her Majesty will authorise to form a government. The Queen doesn't get involved in party politics, so there are no circumstances in which she would choose who is prime minister.

What is a coalition?

A coalition is when two parties team up to govern as a single unit. This previously happened in 2010 when David Cameron as the leader of the Conservative party teamed up with Liberal Democrats, which was then led by Nick Clegg.

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