The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However some writers trace its origins to King Charles I in the 1620s. Other writers point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century
Whig Party, that coalesced around
William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s. They were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was commonly used for a new party that according to historian Robert Blake "are the ancestors of 'Conservatism.'". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "Were not in any sense standard-bearer's of 'true Toryism.'"
The term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by
J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
 The name immediately caught on and was officially adopted under the aegis of
Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the
Tamworth Manifesto. The term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845.
Conservatives and Unionists (1867–1965)
The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under
Lord Derby and
Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the
Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with
Lord Hartington (later the 8th
Duke of Devonshire) and
Joseph Chamberlain's new
Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen
Lord Salisbury and
Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in
1906 when it split over the issue of
free trade. In 1912, the Liberal Unionists merged with the Conservative Party. In Ireland, the
Irish Unionist Alliance had been formed in 1891 which merged Unionists who were opposed to Irish Home Rule into one political movement. Its MPs took the Conservative whip at Westminster, and in essence, formed the Irish wing of the party until 1922.
First World War
The Conservatives served with the Liberals in an all-party coalition government during
World War I, and the coalition continued under the
Liberal Prime Minister
David Lloyd George (with half of the divided Liberal Party) until 1922. Keohane finds that the Conservatives were bitterly divided before 1914, especially on the issue of Irish Unionism and the experience of three consecutive election losses. However the war pulled the party together, allowing it to emphasise patriotism as it found new leadership and worked out its positions on the Irish question, socialism, electoral reform, and the issue of intervention in the economy. The fresh emphasis on anti-Socialism was its response to the growing strength of the
Labour Party. When electoral reform was an issue, it worked to protect their base in rural England.
 It aggressively sought female voters in the 1920s, often relying on patriotic themes.
Bonar Law and
Stanley Baldwin led the break-up of the coalition and the Conservatives governed until 1923, when a minority Labour government led by
Ramsay MacDonald came to power. The Conservatives regained power in 1924 and remained in power for the full five-year term. They were defeated in 1929 as a minority Labour government, again led by MacDonald; took office. In 1931, following the collapse of the Labour minority government, it entered another coalition, which was dominated by the Conservatives with some support from factions of both the Liberal and Labour Parties (National Labour and National Liberals).
 In May 1940, a more balanced coalition was formed,
National Government, which, under the leadership of
Winston Churchill, saw the United Kingdom through World War II. However, the party lost the
1945 general election in a landslide to the resurgent
Labour Party, who won their first ever majority government.
The concept of the "property-owning democracy" was coined by Noel Skelton in 1923 and became a core principle of the party.
While serving in Opposition during the late-1940s, the Conservative Party exploited and incited growing public anger at
food rationing, scarcity, controls,
austerity, and omnipresent government bureaucracy. It used the dissatisfaction with the
egalitarian policies of the Labour Party to rally
middle-class supporters and build a political comeback that won them the
1951 general election. Their appeal was especially effective to housewives, who faced more difficult shopping conditions after the war than during the war.
Modernising the party
In 1947, the party published its
Industrial Charter which marked its acceptance of the "
post-war consensus" on the
mixed economy and
David Maxwell Fyfe chaired a committee into Conservative Party organisation that resulted in the Maxwell Fyfe Report (1948–49). The report shifted the balance of electoral funding from the candidate to the party, with the intention of broadening the
diversity of MPs. In practice, it may have had the effect of lending more power to
constituency parties and making candidates more uniform.
The success of the Conservative Party in reorganising itself was validated by its victory at the 1951 general election.
Winston Churchill, the party leader, brought in a
Party Chairman to modernise the creaking institution.
Lord Woolton was a successful department store owner and wartime Minister of Food. As Party Chairman 1946–55, he rebuilt the local organisations with an emphasis on membership, money, and a unified national propaganda appeal on critical issues. To broaden the base of potential candidates, the national party provided financial aid to candidates, and assisted the local organisations in raising local money. Lord Woolton emphasised a rhetoric that characterised the opponents as "Socialist" rather than "Labour". The
libertarian influence of Professor
Friedrich Hayek's 1944 best-seller Road to Serfdom was apparent in the younger generation, but that took another quarter century to have a policy impact. By 1951, Labour had worn out its welcome in the middle classes; its factions were bitterly embroiled. Conservatives were ready to govern again.
With a narrow victory at the
1951 general election, despite losing the popular vote, Churchill was back in power. Although he was ageing rapidly, he had national and global prestige. Apart from rationing, which was ended in 1954, most of the
welfare state enacted by Labour were accepted by the Conservatives and became part of the "post-war consensus" that would later be satirised as
Butskellism, and which lasted until the 1970s.
 The Conservatives were conciliatory towards unions, but they did privatise the steel and road haulage industries in 1953.
 During the Conservatives’ thirteen-year tenure in office, pensions went up by 49% in real terms, sickness and unemployment benefits by 76% in real terms, and supplementary benefits by 46% in real terms. However, family allowances fell by 15% in real terms during that period.
The Conservatives were re-elected in
1959 with larger majorities. Conservative Prime Ministers
Sir Anthony Eden,
Harold Macmillan and Sir
Alec Douglas-Home promoted relatively liberal trade regulations and less state involvement throughout the 1950s and early-1960s. The
Suez Crisis of 1956 was a humiliating defeat for Prime Minister Eden, but his successor, Macmillan; minimised the damage and focused attention on domestic issues and prosperity. Macmillan boasted during the 1959 general election that Britain had "never had it so good".
Geoffrey Howe co-authored the report A Giant's Strength published by the
Inns of Court Conservative Association. The report argued that the unions had become too powerful and that their legal privileges ought to be curtailed.
Iain Macleod discouraged the authors from publicising the report. Macmillan believed that trade union votes had contributed towards the 1951 and 1955 victories and thought that it "would be inexpedient to adopt any policy involving legislation which would alienate this support".
Macmillan's bid to join the
(EEC) in early-1963 was blocked by French President
Charles de Gaulle. The period saw the decline of the United Kingdom as a prominent world leader, with the loss of practically the entire
Empire and a laggard economy.
Following controversy over the selections of Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home via a process of consultation known as the 'Magic Circle',
 a formal election process was created and
the first leadership election was held in 1965. Of the three candidates, Edward Heath won with 150 votes to Reginald Maudling's 133 and Enoch Powell's 15 votes.
Edward Heath (1965–1975)
, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1970–1974)
Edward Heath's 1970–74 government was known for taking the UK into the EEC, although the
right-wing of the party objected to his failure to control the trade unions at a time when a declining British industry saw many strikes, as well as a
recession which started in 1973 and lasted for two years.
Since accession to the EU, British membership has been a source of heated debate within the Conservative Party.
Heath had come to power in
June 1970 and the last possible date for the next general election was not until mid-1975.
 However a general election was held in
February 1974 in a bid to win public support during a
national emergency caused by the miners' strike. However, Heath's attempt to win a second term in power at this "snap" election failed, as a deadlock result
left no party with an overall majority. The Conservatives had more votes than Labour; but Labour had four more seats. Heath resigned within days, after failing to gain
Liberal Party support in order to form a coalition government, paving the way for
Harold Wilson and Labour to return to power as a minority government. Heath's hopes of returning to power later in the year were ended when Labour won the
October 1974 election with an overall majority of three seats.
Margaret Thatcher (1975–1990)
Loss of power weakened Heath's control over the party and
Margaret Thatcher deposed him in the
1975 leadership election. The UK in the 1970s had seen sustained high
inflation rates, which were above 20% at the time of the leadership election, subsequently falling to below 10%; unemployment had risen, and over the winter of 1978–79 there was a series of strikes known as the "
Winter of Discontent".
 Thatcher led her party to victory at the
1979 general election with a manifesto which concentrated on the party's philosophy rather than presenting a "shopping list" of policies.
As Prime Minister, Thatcher focused on rejecting the mild liberalism of the
post-war consensus that tolerated or encouraged nationalisation, strong labour unions, heavy regulation, high taxes, and a generous welfare state.
 She did not challenge the
National Health Service, and supported the Cold War policies of the consensus, but otherwise tried to dismantle and delegitimise it. To replace the old post-war consensus, she built a right-wing political ideology that became known as
Thatcherism, based on social and economic ideas from British and American intellectuals such as
Friedrich Hayek and
Milton Friedman. Thatcher believed that too much socially democratic-oriented government policy was leading to a long-term decline in the British economy. As a result, her government pursued a programme of
economic liberalism, adopting a free-market approach to public services based on the sale of publicly owned industries and utilities, as well as a reduction in trade union power. She held the belief that the existing trend of unions was bringing economic progress to a standstill by enforcing "wildcat" strikes, keeping wages artificially high and forcing unprofitable industries to stay open.
One of Thatcher's largest and most successful policies assisted council house tenants in public housing to purchase their homes at favourable rates. The "Right to Buy" had emerged in the late-1940s but was too great a challenge to the
Post-War Consensus to win Conservative endorsement. Thatcher from her earliest days in politics favoured the idea because it would lead to a "property-owning democracy", an important idea that had emerged in the 1920s.
 Some local Conservative-run councils enacted profitable local sales schemes during the late-1960s. By the 1970s, many working-class people had ample incomes to afford to buy homes, and eagerly adopted Thatcher's invitation to purchase their homes at a sizable discount. The new owners were more likely to vote Conservative, as Thatcher had hoped.
Thatcher led the Conservatives to two further electoral victories with landslide1983 and
1987. She was greatly admired by her supporters for her leadership in the
Falklands War of 1982–which coincided with a dramatic boost in her popularity–and for policies such as giving the right to council house tenants to buy their council house at a discount on market value. She was also deeply unpopular in certain sections of society due to high unemployment, which reached its highest level since the 1930s, peaking at over 3,000,000 people following her economic reforms, and her response to the
miners' strike. Unemployment had doubled between 1979 and 1982, largely due to Thatcher's
monetarist battle against inflation.
 At the time of the
1979 general election, inflation had been at 9% or under for the previous year, having decreased under Callaghan, then increased to over 20% in the first two years of the Thatcher ministry, but it had fallen again to 5.8% by the start of 1983 (it continued to be under 7% until 1990).
 The British economy benefitted in the first Thatcher ministry by tax income from
North Sea oil coming on stream.
Conservative logo during the Thatcher, Major, Hague, Duncan Smith and Howard eras
The period of unpopularity of the Conservatives in the early-1980s coincided with a crisis in the Labour Party which then formed the main opposition. The
Social Democratic Party (SDP) was established in 1981 and consisted of more than twenty breakaway Labour MPs, who quickly formed the
SDP-Liberal Alliance with the Liberal Party. By the turn of 1982, the SDP-Liberal Alliance was ahead of the Conservatives in the
opinion polls, but victory in the
Falklands War in June that year, along with the recovering British economy, saw the Conservatives returning quickly to the top of the opinion polls and winning the 1983 general election with a landslide majority, due to a split opposition vote.
Thatcher now faced, arguably, her most serious rival yet after the 1983 general election, when
Leader of the Labour Party and was succeeded by
Neil Kinnock. With a new leader at the helm, Labour were clearly determined to defeat the Conservatives at the next election and for virtually the entirety of Thatcher's second ministry it was looking a very serious possibility, as the lead in the opinion polls constantly saw a change in leadership from the Conservatives to Labour, with the Alliance occasionally scraping into first place.
By the time of the general election in June 1987, the economy was stronger, with lower inflation and falling unemployment and Thatcher secured her third successive electoral victory with a second, albeit reduced, landslide majority.
The introduction of the
Community Charge (known by its opponents as the
poll tax) in 1989 is often cited as contributing to her political downfall. The summer of 1989 saw her fall behind Neil Kinnock's Labour in the opinion polls for the first time since 1986, and her party's fall in popularity continued into 1990. By the second half of that year, opinion polls were showing that Labour had a lead of up to 16 points over the Conservatives and they faced a tough 18 months ahead of them if they were to prevent Kinnock's ambition to become Prime Minister from becoming a reality. At the same time, the economy was sliding into
Internal party tensions led to a leadership challenge by the Conservative MP
Michael Heseltine; and, after months of speculation about her future as Prime Minister, she resigned on 28 November 1990, making way for a new Conservative leader more likely to win the next general election in the interests of party unity.
John Major (1990–1997)
, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1990–1997)
John Major won the party leadership election on 27 November 1990, and his appointment led to an almost immediate boost in Conservative Party fortunes. A MORI poll six days before
Mrs Thatcher's resignation had shown the Conservatives to be 11 points behind Labour, but within two months the Conservatives had returned to the top of the opinion polls with a narrow lead.
A general election had to be held within the next eighteen months and the UK economy was sliding into
recession, but 1991 was a year of electoral uncertainty as the Conservatives and Labour regularly swapped places at the top of the opinion polls, and Major resisted Neil Kinnock's numerous calls for an immediate election.
election was finally held on 9 April 1992 and the Conservatives won a fourth successive electoral victory, even though the economy was still in recession and most of the polls had predicted either a narrow Labour victory or a
hung parliament. Major's vigorous campaigning, notably his claim that the UK would have higher prices and higher taxes under a Labour government, was seen to have been crucial in his election win (in which he became the first–and as of 2015, only–Prime Minister to attract 14,000,000 votes in a general election), as was a high-profile campaign by
The Sun newspaper against Labour leader Neil Kinnock, who resigned in the aftermath of the election to be succeeded by
John Smith. The Conservative Party also touched upon the issue of immigration, claiming that under Labour, immigration would rise hugely.
The UK economy was deep in recession by this stage and remained so until the end of the year. The
pound sterling was forced out of the
European Exchange Rate Mechanism on 16 September 1992, a day thereafter referred to as
Soon after, approximately one million householders faced repossession of their homes during a recession that saw a sharp rise in unemployment, taking it close to 3,000,000 people. The party subsequently lost much of its reputation for good financial stewardship although the end of the recession was declared in April 1993
 bringing economic recovery and a fall in unemployment.
Rail modal share (rail's share of total travel) 1952–2015
From 1994-1997, Major
privatised British Rail, splitting it up into
franchises to be run by the private sector. Its
success is hotly debated, with a large increase in passenger numbers and investment in the network balanced by worries about the level of subsidy. Train fares cost more than under
The party was plagued by internal division and infighting, mainly over the issue over policy towards the
European Union. The party's
eurosceptic wing, represented by MPs such as
John Redwood, opposed further EU integration, whilst the party's pro-European wing, represented by those such as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Kenneth Clarke, was broadly supportive. The issue of the creation of a single European currency also inflamed tensions, and these would continue to dog the party until the early-2000s (decade). These divisions gave off an impression of a divided party, which had lost touch with the voters.
Major also had to survive a leadership challenge in 1995 by the Secretary of State for Wales, the aforementioned John Redwood. Major survived, but Redwood received 89 votes from MPs, as well as the backing of the
Sun newspaper, which described the choice as being between "Redwood or Deadwood". This further undermined Major's influence in the Conservative Party.
The Conservative government was also increasingly accused in the media of "
sleaze". Their support reached its lowest ebb in late 1994, after the sudden death of Labour Party leader John Smith and the election of
Tony Blair as his successor, when Labour had up to 60% of the vote in opinion polls and had a lead of some 30 points ahead of the Conservatives. The Labour lead was gradually narrowed over the next two years, as the Conservatives gained some credit for the strong economic recovery and fall in unemployment. But as the
1997 general election loomed, despite their high-profile
New Labour, New Danger campaign, it was still looking certain that Labour would win.
An effective opposition campaign by the Labour Party culminated in a landslide defeat for the Conservatives in 1997 that was Labour's largest ever parliamentary victory, and the worst defeat for the Conservatives since the
1906 general election 91 years earlier. The
1997 general election left the Conservative Party as an England-only party, with all Scottish and Welsh seats having been lost, and not a single new seat having been gained anywhere.
Back in opposition (1997–2005)
John Major resigned as party leader after the Conservatives were heavily defeated in a landslide and was succeeded by
William Hague. Though Hague was a strong orator, a
Gallup poll for
The Daily Telegraph found that two-thirds of voters regarded him as "a bit of a wally",
 for headlines such as his claim that he drank 14 pints of beer in a single day in his youth. He was also criticised for attending the
Notting Hill Carnival and for wearing a
baseball cap in public in what were seen as poor attempts to appeal to younger voters.
 Shortly before the
2001 general election, Hague was much maligned for a speech in which he predicted that a re-elected Labour government would turn the UK into a "foreign land".
 The BBC also reported that the Conservative peer
Lord Taylor criticised Hague for not removing the whip from
John Townend, a Conservative MP, after the latter made a speech in which he said the British were becoming "a mongrel race", although Hague did reject Townend's views.
2001 general election resulted in a net gain of just one seat for the Conservative Party, just months after the
fuel protests of September 2000 had seen the Conservatives briefly take a narrow lead over Labour in the opinion polls.
Having privately set himself a target of 209 seats, matching Labour's performance in
1983–a target which he missed by 43–
William Hague resigned soon after.
Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard
Iain Duncan Smith (2001–2003) (often known as IDS or simply: "Duncan Smith" and by satirists as "the quiet man") is a strong
Eurosceptic, but the issue did not define Duncan Smith's leadership, though during his tenure, Europe ceased to be an issue of division in the party as it united behind calls for a referendum on the proposed
European Union Constitution.
However, before he could lead the party into a general election, Duncan Smith lost the vote on a
motion of no confidence by MPs who felt that the party would not be returned to government under his leadership. This was despite the Conservative support equalling that of Labour in the months leading up to his departure from the leadership.
Michael Howard then stood for the leadership unopposed on 6 November
Under Howard's leadership in the
2005 general election, the Conservative Party increased their total vote share by around 0.7% (up to 32.4%) and–more significantly–their number of parliamentary seats by 33 (up to 198 seats). This gain accompanied a large decline in the Labour vote, and the election reduced Labour's majority from 167 to 68 and its share of the vote to 35.2%.
 The campaign, based on the slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking?", was designed by Australian pollster
Lynton Crosby. The day following the election, on 6 May, Howard announced that he did not feel it was right to continue as leader after defeat in the general election, also saying that he would be too old to lead the party into another campaign and would therefore step down after allowing time for the party to amend its leadership election rules.
David Cameron (2005–2016)
David Cameron won the
2005 leadership election. Cameron defeated his closest rival,
David Davis, by a margin of more than two to one, taking 134,446 votes to 64,398. He then announced his intention to reform and realign the Conservatives, saying they needed to change the way they looked, felt, thought and behaved, advocating a more centre-right stance as opposed to their recent staunchly right-wing platform.
 Although Cameron's views are probably to the left of the party membership and he sought to make the Conservative brand more attractive to young, socially liberal voters,
 he has also expressed his admiration for
Margaret Thatcher, describing himself as a "big fan of Thatcher's", though he questions whether that makes him a "Thatcherite". For most of 2006 and the first half of 2007, polls showed leads over Labour for the Conservatives.
Polls became more volatile in summer 2007 with the accession of
Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, although polls gave the Conservatives a lead after October of that year and, by May 2008, with the UK's economy sliding into
its first recession since 1992, and a week after local council elections, a
YouGov poll commissioned by
The Sun newspaper was published giving the Conservative Party a 26-point lead over Labour, its largest lead since 1968.
 The Conservatives gained control of the London
mayoralty for the first time in May 2008 after
Boris Johnson defeated the Labour incumbent,
The Conservative lead in the opinion polls had been almost unbroken for nearly three years when Britain finally went to the polls on 6 May 2010, though since the turn of 2010 most polls had shown the Conservative lead as less than 10 points wide. The election resulted in a
hung parliament with the Conservatives having the most seats (306) but being twenty seats short of an overall majority. Following the resignation of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party five days afterwards, David Cameron was named as the country's new Prime Minister and the Conservatives
entered government in a coalition with the
Liberal Democrats–the first post-war
In May 2014, the Conservatives were defeated in the
European parliamentary elections coming in third place behind the
UK Independence Party and Labour. UKIP ended with 24 MEPs, Labour 20, and the Conservatives 19. The result was described by UKIP leader
Nigel Farage as "disastrous" for Cameron, and the leaders of the other main parties.
In September 2014, the Unionist side, championed by Labour as well as by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, won in the
Scottish Independence referendum by 55% No to 45% Yes on the question "Should Scotland be an independent country". This can be seen as a victory for
British Unionism, a core part of traditional Conservative ideology, and also for David Cameron as the incumbent Prime Minister.
2015 general election, the Conservatives won a majority of seats in the House of Commons and formed a majority government under David Cameron. The party increased its national vote share, becoming the first incumbent party to do so since 1900. The result was unexpected and exceeded even the party leadership's expectations, as most polls had predicted a hung parliament.
 This was also the first general election since 1992 in which the Conservatives had won an overall majority, although the vote share of 36.9% was lower than the previous four Conservative majority governments under Thatcher and Major.
 In March 2017, the party was fined £70,000, the largest fine of this sort in British political history, after an
Electoral Commission investigation found "significant failures" by the party to report its
2015 general election campaign spending.
On the morning of Friday 24 June 2016, Cameron announced his intention to resign as Prime Minister, after he failed to convince the British public to
stay in the European Union, and subsequently the
Conservative Party leadership election was announced with
Liam Fox and
Andrea Leadsom confirmed as the official contenders to be his successor with
Boris Johnson ruling himself out of the process.
 After Crabb withdrew, Fox and then Gove were eliminated in successive ballots by Conservative MPs, leaving Leadsom and May as the final candidates to be put before the wider Conservative Party membership.
 Leadsom subsequently withdrew from the contest on 11 July.
Theresa May (2016–present)
On 11 July 2016,
Theresa May became the leader of the Conservative Party with immediate effect following the withdrawal from the leadership election of her sole remaining opponent,
Andrea Leadsom. She was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 13 July 2016. She has promised social reform and a more centrist political outlook for the Conservative Party and its government.
 In a speech after her appointment, May emphasised the term Unionist in the name of the party, reminding all of "the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland".
 May considers herself a
one nation conservative.
May's early cabinet appointments were interpreted both as "centrist and conciliatory", an effort to reunite the party in the wake of the UK's
vote to leave the European Union, and as "a shift to the right" according to
May appointed former Mayor of London
Boris Johnson as
Foreign Secretary, former
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Amber Rudd as
Home Secretary, and former
Shadow Home Secretary
David Davis to the newly created office of
Liam Fox and
Philip Hammond, who had both previously served as
Secretary of State for Defence (Fox from 2010 to 2011 and Hammond from 2011 to 2014), were appointed to the newly created office of
International Trade Secretary and as
Chancellor of the Exchequer respectively.
Elizabeth Truss was made Justice Secretary, the "first female Lord Chancellor in the thousand-year history of the role".
Andrea Leadsom, who was energy minister and May's primary competitor for party leader, was made the new environment secretary.
 However, former Northern Ireland Secretary
Theresa Villiers resigned from Cabinet after May offered her a post which was "not one which I felt I could take on".
 Nearly half of the May
ministry are women.
The new Prime Minister espoused the left in her first speech, with a promise to combat the "burning injustice" in British society and create a union "between all of our citizens" and promising to be an advocate for the "ordinary working-class family" and not just for "privileged few" in the UK. "The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. ... When we take the big calls, we'll think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws we'll listen not to the mighty, but to you. When it comes to taxes we'll prioritise not the wealthy but you."
In April 2017, the Cabinet agreed to hold a
general election on Thursday 8 June.
 During the resulting campaign, Theresa May asked the electorate to "strengthen my hand" in Brexit negotiations, promised "strong and stable leadership in the national interest" and warned of a "coalition of chaos" under Jeremy Corbyn. Contrary to opinion poling at the time, the election resulted in a
hung parliament, with the Conservative Party having 317 seats in the House of Commons, but without an overall majority. The
Democratic Unionist Party suggested it would be able to provide a
confidence and supply arrangement depending on negotiations.
 Theresa May as the incumbent prime minister, announced her intention on 9 June 2017 to form a new
minority government with support from the DUP.
The number of Conservative Party seats in the House of Commons was reduced to 316 in July 2017 when
Anne Marie Morris had the Conservative
whip suspended following the emergence of a recording of her using the racist idiom "
nigger in the woodpile".