Welcome to the latest edition of This Week on Twitter for Westminster HUB where in this edition we take a look at how social media reacted to a dramatic election night. Less than two months since calling her snap election Theresa May was rejected by the British public as, despite emerging as the largest party with 318 seats, her Conservative Party made losses which left the UK with a hung parliament.
It was a surprisingly impressive performance on the night from Jeremy Corbyn who not only increased his own majority in Islington but led Labour to their best performance since Tony Blair’s landslide of 1997. There were mixed fortunes for the other parties as the SNP made losses, the Lib Dems made seat gains but lost vote share while UKIP were humiliated. Here is how the night unfolded through the eyes of Twitter.
General Election 2017
It was an eventful night in Britain that shocked Westminster and it all began with a dramatic exit poll that caused sharp intakes of breath from politicos everywhere. The exit poll predicted, with impressive accuracy, that the Conservatives would remain as the largest party but lose their majority. The poll came with an element of disbelief as it showed Labour outperforming most polling data and withstanding a large amount of negative press. It was fair to say that most pundits took the poll with a pinch of salt in the early minutes of election night.
There was disbelief in the Conservative camp soon after the exit poll was announced with inside sources crunching their own numbers and coming up with, or hoping for, a different outcome than predicted.
For Jeremy Corbyn supporters the exit poll, and night as a whole, was justification of their belief and faith in the Labour leader and the man himself received praise for his energetic and positive campaign.
As always on election night there were a number of high profile casualties. This year the biggest name that lost his seat was former Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who lost his Sheffield Hallam seat to the Labour surge. There were some who were upset to see him go while others found it ironic that the person who u-turned on his tuition fees promise was ousted by a man promising to stop fees.
Other well-known names that lost their seat in Parliament on Thursday night included former SNP leader, Alex Salmond, and current Deputy Leader, Angus Robertson. It was a difficult night for the Scottish governing party who lost just under 20 seats in Scotland with leader Nicola Sturgeon saying she will give some thought to the independence argument which appeared to have cost the party votes.
In one of the most interesting stories and tightly fought contests, the seat of North East Fife was won by the Scottish National Party by just two votes from the Liberal Democrats. After three recounts, a fourth was denied to the Lib Dems and they may decide to take legal action to continue the fight for this seat.
After all the results were announced the exit poll had been proven very accurate and the country was left with a hung Parliament. The election results left many pundits and politicians unsure about what might happen next and how this result would play out within Parliament. In the hours following the results there were also questions about the future of Theresa May, with Anna Soubry suggesting on live TV that the party leader should resign.
It was not until the morning that it became clear that Theresa May was not resigning and instead looking to form the next government with the support of the ten MPs from the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland. She visited the Queen later in the day to ask permission to form the next government but discussions with the DUP continue and with no majority to speak of life will be tough for the Prime Minister.
No doubt there will be many more twists and turns in the coming days and weeks as agreements between parties are made. With discussions currently ongoing between the Conservatives and DUP it remains to be seen if a pact or coalition will be struck. If nothing is able to be agreed then it could still be possible that the country may yet face another election this year. All the more reason to stick with Backbench for all the news and opinion in the weeks and months ahead.
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