||[Friday 9th June 2017 at 6:38 pm]
And I thought the 2010 result was going to make things complicated...
With 1 seat left (Kensington, and it'll probably go to Labour given that the Tories are the ones demanding the recounts - but it won't affect the possible groupings) there's now enough numbers to work out what governments, if any, are possible. The magic number for control of the Commons this time is 322 (based on 650 seats minus the 7 Sinn Fein MPs and the Speaker) and no-one has enough for a majority.
The Tories get first go as largest party but with their 318 seats they need to find 4 more from somewhere. Based on the numbers they've got a few options, but in reality they only have the one - the DUP is the only party that'll touch them with the proverbial bargepole and with 10 seats that gives a total of 328 and a 6-seat majority. So that's what the Tories have announced they'll do with a surprising amount of optimism. Theresa May's speech in particular was incredibly arrogant - how has any of this resulted in "a government that can provide certainty" or given "the largest number of votes" to the "Conservative & Unionist Party" (that pairing may have the most seats but only 43.3% of the vote - Lab+LD got 47.4%)?
On the Labour side, their 261 seats mean they need quite a few other parties. In fact they need all of the other parties - Lab+SNP+LD+PC+Green only gives 261+35+12+4+1=313, not enough to beat the Tories let alone gain control. To wrest control they need another 9 on top of that and the only way they can achieve that is by pulling the DUP in as well. Which is unlikely as the DUP are right up there with UKIP and the Tories in political position.
It all comes down to the DUP now - they're the very unexpected kingmakers of the election and can make or break the Tory party. The challenge for the Tories now is if they can somehow come up with a Queen's Speech that both gets the DUP's support while not alienating their own party... and given the DUP's policies I don't think that's possible.
My prediction is that the Queen's Speech will have too much of what the DUP wants in it and end up being rejected by rebelling Tories who think it's going too far. This then gives Labour a crack at forming a government, but with the numbers the way they are they'll be easily defeated by the Tories (with or without the DUP) and at that point it's election time again.