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May forms unity government after losing majority in UK vote

United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayWill Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Money talks: Why China is beating America in Asia MORE resisted calls to resign on Friday and said she had reached a deal with the right-of-center Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a unity government after an election cost her Conservative Party its majority in Parliament.

May, the Tory leader, is expected to go to Buckingham Palace on Friday to ask the queen's permission to form a governmental coalition, according to The Guardian.

For the prime minister, the Thursday snap election — an election held before its originally scheduled date — was not what she had hoped it would be when she called the contest in April. Ultimately intended by May to expand the Conservative bloc, the election ended in a major blow to the party, which lost a dozen seats and, consequently, its majority.

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Meanwhile, the opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, picked up 29 seats in Parliament.

The Conservatives' losses on Thursday are likely to weaken May's hand in negotiating the U.K's exit from the European Union just before talks on the matter are set to begin later this month.

May had called the snap election in hopes of garnering a strong mandate for the Brexit negotiations. And at the outset, polls had shown a resounding victory for Conservatives. 

The striking shortfall for May signals dwindling support among U.K. voters for a so-called hard exit from the EU. 

There are 650 seats in the U.K.'s House of Commons, meaning that a party must win at least 326 seats to hold a majority and form a working government. If that threshold isn't met, parties must form a coalition or risk losing the ability to govern effectively. 

By striking a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists, the Conservatives will effectively hold 329 seats. And while the DUP supports the Brexit decision overall, its members have advocated for a softer approach to the withdrawal in order to preserve travel and trade with the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member.