Democratic Unionists in Northern Ireland may be election key

Their 2015 campaign was built around the hope there would be a hung parliament so that they would have more influence in the House - but David Cameron's majority meant that was not possible. But can she do it?

After her severe election setback, British Prime Minister Theresa May might want to have a little chat with Hillary Clinton about the cost of relying on polls and underestimating your opponent. Earlier, Downing Street had said a preliminary agreement had already been secured.

The outcome leaves May on Saturday battling to unite different factions in her party and reliant on the 10 seats of socially-conservative Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party parliamentarians just nine days before the United Kingdom begins negotiating its departure from the EU.

In a statement after returning from Buckingham Palace, where she received the Queen's permission to form a government, May shrugged off a growing backlash in the Conservative Party, and said she would provide the "certainty" the country needed, The Guardian reported.

DUP leader Arlene Foster confirmed she had spoken with the PM and that her party was in "discussions with the Conservatives to explore how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation at this time of great challenge".

About 41 per cent said Ms May should resign "immediately", while 20 per cent believed she should leave within the next six months, and 23 per cent said only after negotiating Brexit.

On Saturday, hundreds of people took to the street to denounce May's plan to include the DUP in a parliamentary alliance, with many calling for opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to take her place. "It's just how long she's going to remain on death row", former Conservative finance minister George Osborne, who was sacked by May when she became prime minister a year ago, told the BBC. By tradition, defeat on a Queen's Speech vote topples the government.

The latest leadership speculation comes a day after two of May's closest advisers, her joint chiefs-of-staff Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, resigned amid recriminations about their controlling management style.

"The key finance, foreign, Brexit, interior and defense ministers would remain unchanged".

That timeline now looks even more ambitious than before, not least because May's electoral debacle has emboldened those within her own party who object to her "hard Brexit" approach of leaving the European single market and customs union.

But there were hints that the terms of Brexit might have changed. It was also created to give the government more time to complete the process by ensuring that the incoming administration would have a clear five years before having to call an election.

He said that Labour under his leadership was "quite ready and able to put forward a serious programme of government", which he said "obviously has massive support in this country". "We need to be very clear we are listening to them and we are delivering a Brexit that is going to work in their interest". The DUP partnership gives May enough seats to push her agenda.

Despite the crticism for her campaign, Theresa May has refused to quit despite calls from her opponents to consider her position.

"I think its quite possible there'll be an election later this year or early next year, and that might be a good thing, because we can not go on with a period of great instability", he told the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday.

May has few other options.

A supply and confidence deal is a flimsy arrangement and many Tories are unhappy about working with the DUP.

Announcing his resignation on the Conservative Home website, Timothy urged Tory MPs to "get behind" May but said nothing should be allowed to get in the way of the process of forming a government and beginning Brexit talks.

The exact contours of a potential Conservative-DUP deal were not yet known.

  • Rogelio Becker