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Will it be May-hem for the PRS?

General Election 2017
Dr Tom Simcock
Written by Dr Tom Simcock

The results are in. Theresa May called a General Election in April to increase her majority when the polls showed an open goal.

Now the people have spoken and the Conservatives have lost their out-right majority.

After 649 of 650 seats have been declared, the Conservatives hold on to 318 seats, with the Labour Party now up to 261.

Party Number of Seats +/- Number of Votes Vote Share +/-
Conservative Party 318 -12 13,650,900 42.4 +5.5
Labour Party 261 +29 12,858,652 40.0 +9.5
Scottish National Party 35 -21 977,569 3.0 -1.7
Liberal Democrat 12 +4 2,367,048 7.4 -0.5
Democratic Unionist Party 10 +2 292,316 0.9 +0.3
Sinn Fein 7 +3 238,915 0.7 +0.2
Plaid Cymru 4 +1 164,466 0.5 -0.1
Green Party 1 0 525,606 1.6 -2.1
UKIP 0 -1 593,852 1.8 -10.8
Social Democratic & Labour Party 0 -3 95,419 0.3 0.0
Ulster Unionist Party 0 -2 83,280 0.3 -0.1

One thing is clear, the political landscape is going to be a lot more complicated over the next few months. So what do these results mean for forming a government? Lets have a look at the key questions you may have:

Who is going to be the Prime Minister?

As Theresa May is the incumbent Prime Minister she will have the first opportunity to form a government.

With 318 seats, the Conservatives are short of an overall majority. They have sacrificed their majority but are still the largest overall party.

We are expecting Theresa May to try and form a government with the support of the DUP in Northern Ireland.

Will this be another Coalition?

Not necessarily, we may not see another coalition like the Conservative and Lib Dem’s in 2011.

This is most likely going to be a quid pro quo, with the Conservatives relying on the DUP support to pass the Queens Speech in July.

This would give the Conservatives a majority of 328 seats, so 2 more than the 326 goal posts. We also must take into account that Sinn Fein do not take up their seats in the Commons, so this drops the number needed for a majority in the commons to 322.

Could Labour form a Minority Government?

There were discussions before the election about a left-party alliance of Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Greens working together to form a government.

Currently, this would give them 313 seats in the commons, still smaller than the total number of seats of the Conservatives.

Have there been any high-profile departures from the Commons?

9 Government Ministers have now lost their seat as part of this election. These include:

  • Jane Ellison – Financial Secretary to the Treasury
  • Gavin Barwel – Housing Minister
  • Ben Gummer – Cabinet Office Minister (One of the main authors of the 2017 Conservative Manifesto)
  • Nicola Blackwood – Health Minister
  • Simon Kirby – City Minister
  • David Mowat – Health Minister
  • Edward Timpson – Minister for Children and Families
  • Rob Wilsn – Charities Minister
  • James Wharton – Minister for Growth

Other big names that have been unseated include:

  • Nick Clegg, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Liberal Democrats
  • Angus Robertson, SNP Westminster Leader
  • Alex Salmond, Former SNP Leader

Have there been any close shaves?

There have been two close shaves in this election.

Amber Rudd, incumbent Home Secretary nearly lost her seat. After a re-count she managed to hold her seat by 346 votes.

Tim Farron, current leader of the Liberal Democrats also nearly had a close shave. He managed to hold his seat by 777 votes (is 7 his lucky number?). This saw Tim lose over 8000 votes from his majority, in a swing to the Conservatives.

And if you don’t think every vote counts, the SNP have a majority of 2 over the Liberal Democrats in NE Fife.

Has anyone returned to Westminster?

Two ‘old’ faces have been re-elected to Parliament. These include Zac Goldsmith for the Conservatives in Richmond Park, with a majority of 45.

You may remember that Zac ran to become the London Mayor last May, and then resigned as Conservative MP and triggered a by-election over plans for Heathrow. He then lost the seat as an Independent to the Liberal Democrats.

Another return is that of Sir Vince Campbell in the seat of Twickenham with a 9,762 majority. Also, for the Lib Dems former Environment Secretary Ed Davey returns to the Commons.

What does this mean for Housing Legislation?

This is up for debate. We can now expect a new Housing Minister, as the incumbent has lost his seat. What happens to the housing policy will all depend on the stability of the new government.

About the author

Dr Tom Simcock

Dr Tom Simcock

Tom is the Senior Researcher for the RLA and leads the RLA’s research lab; the Private renting Evidence, Analysis and Research Lab (PEARL). His expertise lies in researching change in society, public policy and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Tom’s research on housing has received national media coverage, featuring on the front page of The Times, has influenced government policy making, and has been cited in debates in the House of Commons, House of Lords and by the London Mayor.

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