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Election 2017: Hung Parliament Will Force Conservatives To Make Informal Coalition Deal

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Overall effect on the technology industry is that it’s not likely to shake things up yet

A hung parliament is the result of the snap general election, leaving confusion as to how the next government will be formed and which party will drive Brexit negotiations. 

At the time of writing exit but a few seats need to be declared, but regardless of the result no political party will have the numbers to make up the 326 seats needed to form a majority government.

Currently, the Conservatives hold 317 seats, Labour won 261, and the Liberal Democrats have 12 seats, and the Scottish National Party hold 35 seats, and the Democratic Unionist Party has 10. 

Deals to be done 

acquisition handshake ©Drazen shutterstockWithout the majority, the Tories are likely looking at forming a pseudo coalition alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party to give the Conservatives the seats they need to form a majority government. 

The outside alternative could be a minority Labour party formed out of alliances with other political parties. 

The result is a shock for the Tories and raises the question of Theresa May’s leadership and position as Prime Minister. 

However, for the technology industry, if the Tories stay in power and make a coalition deal, little major change can be expected. The Conservatives will keep their pledge to address “fast changing technology” such as the development of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and the Fintech sub-sector, as well as tackle the issues of cyber security that threaten Britain’s technology industry. 

“For the sake of our economy and our society, we need to harness the power of fast-changing technology, while ensuring that our security and personal privacy – and the welfare of children and younger people – are protected,” the Tory manifesto said. 

And it is likely that the commitments to improving the UK’s fibre and mobile broadband and to integrating digital technology in the public sector will not likely be taken off the table through the foundation of  a coalition government. 

For Brexit negotiations, a weaker Tory party could make getting Britain a good deal when it leaves the European Union a challenging prospect, which in turn will raise questions over issues such as freedom of movement and membership of the digital single market. 

Time will tell if the Tories make a deal to form a coalition and if it wreaks chaos or allows the Conservative government to get back to business as usual with its manifesto.  

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