British Prime Minister Theresa May’s early election call backfires

Yahoo News Photo Staff

Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered one of the most dramatic reversals in recent British political history, losing an overall majority in parliament in a snap election she had been predicted to win easily.

May had called the election on April 18, urging voters to boost her 17-seat working majority in order to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations.

Opinion polls at that time gave her Conservatives a 20-point lead over Labour, enough for a potentially triple-figure majority. (AFP)

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<p>British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks watched by her husband Philip in 10 Downing street, London, as she addresses the press Friday, June 9, 2017 following an audience with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace where she asked to form a government. (Photo: Tim Ireland/AP) </p>
Theresa May addresses the press

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks watched by her husband Philip in 10 Downing street, London, as she addresses the press Friday, June 9, 2017 following an audience with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace where she asked to form a government. (Photo: Tim Ireland/AP)

<p>British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks watched by her husband Philip in 10 Downing street, London, as she addresses the press Friday, June 9, 2017 following an audience with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace where she asked to form a government. (Photo: Tim Ireland/AP) </p>
The press photographs Theresa May as she speaks

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks watched by her husband Philip in 10 Downing street, London, as she addresses the press Friday, June 9, 2017 following an audience with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace where she asked to form a government. (Photo: Tim Ireland/AP)

<p>Protestor wearing a Theresa May mask is seen the day after Britain’s election in London, Britain June 9, 2017. (Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters) </p>
A protestor wears a Theresa May mask

Protestor wearing a Theresa May mask is seen the day after Britain’s election in London, Britain June 9, 2017. (Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

<p>Britain’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn is greeted as he arrives at Labour party headquarters in London, Friday, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP) </p>
Jeremy Corbyn arrives at Labour party headquarters

Britain’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn is greeted as he arrives at Labour party headquarters in London, Friday, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP)

<p>Office workers look on from a building next to the Labour Party’s Headquarters in London, Britain June 9, 2017. (Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters) </p>
Office workers look on

Office workers look on from a building next to the Labour Party’s Headquarters in London, Britain June 9, 2017. (Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters)

<p>Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are applauded by staff as they return to 10 Downing Street, after seeking permission from Queen Elizabeth to form a new government, in London, Friday, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP) </p>
Theresa May and her husband Philip are applauded by staff

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are applauded by staff as they return to 10 Downing Street, after seeking permission from Queen Elizabeth to form a new government, in London, Friday, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP)

<p>Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Buckingham Palace with her husband Philip after meeting the Queen, in London, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters) </p>
Theresa May leaves Buckingham Palace

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Buckingham Palace with her husband Philip after meeting the Queen, in London, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

<p>Tim Farron, leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party, addresses the media after Britain’s election, at his party HQ in London, Britain June 9, 2017. (Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters) </p>
Tim Farron ddresses the media

Tim Farron, leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party, addresses the media after Britain’s election, at his party HQ in London, Britain June 9, 2017. (Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

<p>British daily newspapers showing front page stories about the exit poll results of the snap general election in London on June 9, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
British front page stories about the exit poll results

British daily newspapers showing front page stories about the exit poll results of the snap general election in London on June 9, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Caroline Lucas, co-leader of Britain’s Green Party, speaks after retaining her seat in the general election, in Brighton, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Adam Holt/Reuters) </p>
Caroline Lucas speaks after retaining her seat

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of Britain’s Green Party, speaks after retaining her seat in the general election, in Brighton, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Adam Holt/Reuters)

<p>10 Downing Street is pictured on the night of Britain’s general election in London, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters) </p>
10 Downing Street on the night of the election

10 Downing Street is pictured on the night of Britain’s general election in London, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

<p>An ETX Capital trader reacts as he watches the results for Britain’s election in London, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters) </p>
An trader reacts

An ETX Capital trader reacts as he watches the results for Britain’s election in London, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

<p>The London Eye is illuminated in blue, representing the Conservative Party, after the first exit polls announced in Britain’s general election, in London, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP) </p>
The London Eye is illuminated in blue, representing the Conservative Party

The London Eye is illuminated in blue, representing the Conservative Party, after the first exit polls announced in Britain’s general election, in London, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)

<p>Ballot boxes are emptied to be counted for the general election, at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday June 8, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA via AP) </p>
Ballot boxes are emptied

Ballot boxes are emptied to be counted for the general election, at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday June 8, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

<p>Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves with her husband Philip after voting in the general election at polling station in Maidenhead, England, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP) </p>
Theresa May leaves with her husband Philip after voting

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves with her husband Philip after voting in the general election at polling station in Maidenhead, England, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP)

<p>Ballots are counted and verified by election staff, in the Magnet Leisure Centre Maidenhead, the constituency of Prime Minister Theresa May, in Maidenhead, England, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP) </p>
Ballots are counted and verified

Ballots are counted and verified by election staff, in the Magnet Leisure Centre Maidenhead, the constituency of Prime Minister Theresa May, in Maidenhead, England, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP)

<p>Benedictine nuns from Tyburn Convent leave after voting in Britain’s general election at a polling station in St John’s Parish Hall, London, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP) </p>
Benedictine nuns leave a polling station after voting

Benedictine nuns from Tyburn Convent leave after voting in Britain’s general election at a polling station in St John’s Parish Hall, London, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP)

<p>A woman walks over the London Bridge carrying a placard, in London, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Britain will hold a general election on June 8. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP) </p>
A woman carries a placard

A woman walks over the London Bridge carrying a placard, in London, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Britain will hold a general election on June 8. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)

<p>Britain’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures after voting in the general election at a polling station in London, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP) </p>
Jeremy Corbyn gestures after voting

Britain’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures after voting in the general election at a polling station in London, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP)

<p>Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, center, speaks to supporters and their children at Thornhill Cricket and Bowling Club in Dewsbury, England, during a general election campaign visit to West Yorkshire, Saturday June 3, 2017. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP) </p>
Theresa May speaks to supporters

Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, center, speaks to supporters and their children at Thornhill Cricket and Bowling Club in Dewsbury, England, during a general election campaign visit to West Yorkshire, Saturday June 3, 2017. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

<p>A woman walks past a Jeremy Corbyn mural in Camden, London on Thursday, June 1, 2017. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP) </p>
A woman walks past a Jeremy Corbyn mural

A woman walks past a Jeremy Corbyn mural in Camden, London on Thursday, June 1, 2017. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP)

<p>In keeping with traditional practice, Colonel Geoffrey Godbold, the City of London Corporation’s Common Cryer and Serjeant-at-Arms reads out the Proclamation of the Summons for a new Parliament on the steps of the Royal Exchange, in the City of London, Thursday, May 4, 2017. All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the June 8 election. (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP) </p>
The Proclamation of the Summons for a new Parliament is read

In keeping with traditional practice, Colonel Geoffrey Godbold, the City of London Corporation’s Common Cryer and Serjeant-at-Arms reads out the Proclamation of the Summons for a new Parliament on the steps of the Royal Exchange, in the City of London, Thursday, May 4, 2017. All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the June 8 election. (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP)

<p>British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street after returning from visiting Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in London where she asked for the dissolution of Parliament ahead of the upcoming general election, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. ( Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP) </p>
Theresa May speaks to the press after requesting the dissolution of Parliament

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street after returning from visiting Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in London where she asked for the dissolution of Parliament ahead of the upcoming general election, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. ( Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

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