The general election has resulted in a hung parliament as the Conservative party lost their majority.
Tory leader Theresa May, who called the snap election in April in an attempt to secure a Brexit mandate, is now under pressure to quit after losing seats.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is among those who have called on May to resign, while former UKIP leader Nigel Farage told ITV’s Good Morning Britain the result was “armageddon” for her.
However, May this morning showed no sign that she was ready to step down and insisted her party would “ensure” that stability was maintained.
The Conservatives have said that in the event of a hung parliament, May would get the first opportunity to form a government.
But the UK could in fact face another election this summer under the rules of the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
Impact on retail
Whatever the eventual outcome, the hung parliament result is sure to come as a blow to retailers, who had hoped the election would bring about some stability.
The sector has been through a period of macroeconomic and political turbulence following the 2015 general election and last year’s shock EU referendum result.
Before the nation went to the polls, Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire told Retail Week: “I think the main thing that we’ve been keen to see at the macro level is stability and confidence.
“Retailing is very much dependent on GDP and consumer confidence and if that’s threatened it’s very hard for certainly the bigger retailers to escape.”
Notonthehighstreet boss Simon Belsham added that the practicalities of Brexit and those negotiations with the EU were also of paramount importance. But the UK’s hand has been weakened with the Tories losing their majority.
Belsham said last month: “How we negotiate our way out of Europe is going to be critical for all retailers, whether you look at labour mobility and the ability to trade.
“I would be looking for, whether it’s hard or soft Brexit, a Government that enabled that to continue.”