The incontestable truth of this general election is that the Conservative party does not have enough MPs to win votes by itself in the new House of Commons.
Nothing matters more than the parliamentary numbers and Theresa May's lack of a majority. The politics of the coming months and perhaps years will be dominated by this one fact.
Now the prime minister could try to get her legislation through vote by vote, issue by issue. But that would be a recipe for instability and unpredictability.
So she has announced that she will try to do a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, Northern Ireland's largest unionist party.
The DUP have 10 MPs and if they vote with the Conservatives, the government will be able to get its business through Parliament. The DUP would promise to back the government in votes of no confidence and supply - or budget - issues. In return, the government would support or fund some of the DUP's policies.