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Would you be happy with a hung parliament?

14:08 UK time, Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has indicated he might find it difficult to do a deal with Gordon Brown in the event of a hung parliament. What would a hung parliament mean for the country?

In a Daily Telegraph interview, he says Mr Brown is "a desperate politician". It comes as Mr Brown says that he wants a "new politics", with the two parties creating an informal alliance to keep the Conservatives out of power.

David Cameron warned any result short of a Tory victory "could reinforce the failure of the last 13 years".

Would it be good to see parties working together? Or would it mean politicians "haggling, not deciding", as David Cameron suggests? Would a hung parliament be good or bad for Britain?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    A hung Parliament is the worst of all worlds. Government by committee will never work.

    If Alex Salmond thinks it's a good thing, then it obviously isn't. He couldn't give a monkeys about England, he's only interested in Scotland. So do what you like in Scotland, Alex, but keep your nose out of English Government.

  • Comment number 2.

    A hung parliament will be a disaster; nothing will get done and everyone will blame each other.

    I'd rather have Labour again with an overall majority than a hung parliament - that's how bad it would be.

  • Comment number 3.

    The big losers of a hung parliament will be the people of England. They lack the dedicated representation that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have with their parliament and assemblies.

    The English are government by the UK parliament. A hung united parliament gives Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs an even bigger say over what happens in England.

    As Mr Salmond said he wants Westminster to dance to a Scottish tune - in effect as the only place Westminster can influence on health, education, transport, environment, policing etc it will be England that dances to the tune of whoever holds the balance of power. This will not be in the interests of the people of England.

    As most of the cuts and asset sales already announced affect England only this can only get worse.

    As long as the people of England lack recognition and dedicated representation in the form of their own English parliament they will continue to get the lowest per person funding in the dis-United Kingdom and as a result the worst services.

    England needs it's own parliament back.

  • Comment number 4.

    According to Mr Salmond he dreams of a hung parliament where Scotland would bleed the rest of the UK dry with subsidies arranged by him and that other infamous scot Brown. There you have it England, according to Mr Salmond, he considers his fellow scots as nothing less than parasites. May I say as an englishman, that the people of Scotland deserve better than being represented in that fashion.

  • Comment number 5.

    Co-Alition government works elsewhere in Europe, why not here.

    It is argued that it leads to a weak Government, but it can also be argued that the Government has become to strong at the expense of Parliament and Democracy.

    All too often, a Government steal-rollers a law through on a three-line whip, but under a hung parliament, no one party can force a law through by the might of its majority.

    A hung parliament should redress the balance with the Government governing by the will of Parliament rather than dictating to Parliament.

  • Comment number 6.

    Would you be happy with a hung parliament?


    Lets make the parties work with eachother for our benefit for a change.

    Instead of prioritising the party at all times, which is what happens now.

    Added bonus - In a hung parliament the libdems should be able to force through their proportional representation bill which would mean the end of the three party monopoly.

    The added bonus is that the utterley undemocratic system we have at the moment, where the party that comes third in terms of the number of votes cast can still win the the election with the most seats.

  • Comment number 7.

    I would be very happy with a hung parliament.

    The argument that a strong government is required, so that policies can be implemented which are not popular in the country, is essentially a denial of democracy. I do not trust politicians that advocate such ideas.

  • Comment number 8.

    I would be happy with a hung parliament - as long as it was this one - I would be happy to hang the lot of them - is that the same thing?

  • Comment number 9.

    Not really. I've nothing against the kind of coalition forming that goes on in other countries, where the electoral system isn't designed around first past the post.

    But in the UK context, a hung parliament would most likely mean a party which had way more seats than its votes would justify, teaming up with others, in the interests of staying in power.

    The only good outcome of a hung parliament might be that it led to electoral reform.

    Our current system is designed around two parties, but this no longer reflects political reality.

    Sizable minorities who would vote for the Greens, Socialists, Respect, UKIP, the BNP, SNP and PC are excluded.

  • Comment number 10.

    A hung parliament whilst not being ideal would be far better than a Tory government. I would suggest any voter who is interested in having a fairer Great Britain where all not the few are considered, should vote tactically to ensure the defaet wherever possible of the tory candidate. No one in their right mind wants to see the return of the greedy mean spirited politics of the thatcher and major years. Do you think Cameron and his childish chanellor boy george will do anything for you? I doubt it. The tory party behind its facade of "were in it togther" have not changed, they are still the "nasty" party.

  • Comment number 11.

    Alex Salmond should keep his views about the rest of Britain to himself, they aren't wanted either in England or in Wales.

  • Comment number 12.

    The pound would collapse and the the stock exchange would take a hammering. It seems that the Scots can still not forgive we English for executing William Wallace. A hung parliament is a very bad thing. Does the electorate have the stomach for a second election in the autumn? I wonder if deals are being done already behind closed doors? We need an outright winner snd that should be David Cameron!

  • Comment number 13.

    I'd like to think that a hung parliment would mean the parties working together, blocking stupid ideas and embracing good ones, no matter which party suggested that.

    Then i remember that this parliament is basically a school yard with "your momma" being thrown around. This is meant to be about the good of the country not how quickly you can discredit the oppositions latest slogan. They need to grow up and realise why we have a goverment. For the good of the people, not for the good of the few.

  • Comment number 14.

    Alex Salmond is speaking on behalf of the people of Scotland. Anyone who wants to rid us of WMD and other wastes of money is ok in my book. The warmongers in the present government do not speak on my behalf. The sooner we rid ourselves of them, the sooner we get better health and education.
    Good luck Mr Salmond

  • Comment number 15.

    No i want a Libdem majority government, its the only way to make this country great again.

  • Comment number 16.

    A hung parliament could never truly work unless all parties were pulling in the same direction. I sincerely hope this outcome will not come about.

  • Comment number 17.

    It could work out well for people to have a coalition gov. Too much effort is put into lying to people about what they will do while not mentioning the damage they will do. A coalition gov has no leading decision make ignoring everyone else. They must cooperate.

    The bad part will be the devaluing of the pound but if it works it could give the smaller parties a chance to promote common sense and the wishes of the brits

  • Comment number 18.

    I would also be happier if Scotland was finally cut loose and had full independence from the rest of the UK, that way we'd get rid of Gordo and as a bonus we'd be rid of the racial prejudice emanating from Alex Salmond.

  • Comment number 19.

    "So do what you like in Scotland, Alex, but keep your nose out of English Government."

    Mrs Vee, I think you'll find that there's no such thing as an English government.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think the 1st poster had it exactly right.

    It's the biggest problem with simple PR systems - it sounds good, but in practice it leads to a bunch of tiny parties holding the 'keys to power', resulting in unstable so-called democracies like Israel (not the only sufferer) and forming a block on progress. We tinker with 'first past the post' (admittedly the least worst option so far) at our peril.

    The Scottish and Welsh nationalists have no interest in the UK or EU (except as a milch-cow), so why give them national exposure, unless it be to inflate their egos further, if that were possible? They cannot have it all ways so by all means give them a 'prime-time' slot - on BBC Wales & Scotland!

  • Comment number 21.

    A hung parliament would be a total disatser, and might allow the authoritarian scum currently in charge to cling to power.

  • Comment number 22.

    A hung Parliament would be a disaster. In Wales we have had hung Welsh Assemblies on two occasions. On the first occasion, the Lib Dems came fourth in the popular vote, but Labour did a deal which gave the Lib Dems two Cabinet seats including Deputy First Minister. On the second occasion, a Lib-Lab coallition was still not enough to form an administration so there was all sorts of musical chairs as the parties jockeyed for position. All this took six months to sort out during which Wales was without an effective administration. Much of the cause of this was the dead hand of proportional representation. A hung Parliament would put the losers in power, or, even worse, leave the Country drifting without a Government for months.

  • Comment number 23.

    if alex sammond likes it then i dont. a hung parliament would be catastrophic and would do what labour has somehow managed to avoid doing: kill the recovery. as long as parties such as the snp, bnp, ukip, plaid and lib dems are kept away from power then we might get something done.

  • Comment number 24.

    A hung parliament would be definately good after the expenses and other scandals. Hang them all I say ! I'm voting for guy Fawks !

  • Comment number 25.

    Please note that not everyone in Scotland agrees with this joker masquerading as a 'politician'!

  • Comment number 26.

    You have to feel sorry for the Scots.Having replaced an inept Labour government with an economically illiterate and socially disastrous SNP leadership, Alex Salmond, Scotland's answer to Nigel Farage in terms of both intellect and competence,would now try to advise Britain how to vote.That's actually good news because nobody with a quarter of a brain will follow his advice.Everyone who isn't drunk or has spent the last 20 years on Pluto and actually believes he is a serious political figure realises this is Salmond's attempt to be subtle and cunning.With a bit of luck the Scots,as well as the SNP, will ignore him now and hopefully choose a serious statesman as their First Minister and party leader.Then perhaps the rest of Britain and Europe will start taking them seriously.

  • Comment number 27.

    We've lived under 'hung' Parliaments before ,as the government of the day's Parliamentary majority has disappeared and pacts have been made with other parties to get the governments bills through. We had a 'National Government' in the '30s, Callaghan and the Lib-Dems in the late '70s, Major and the Ulster Unionists in the late '90s, Heath tried to form a coalition with the Liberals after his defeat in 1974.
    The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Ulster Unionists see a 'hung' Parliament as an opportunity to further their own agendas. However such a situation only works for them if one of the major parties, with no overall majority tries to take power alone. Only then would the nationalist and 'Loyalist' parties have influence.
    Again this influence is only available if a minority government is trying to enact a policy that the other major parties are opposed to but the minor parties can support.
    The SNP & Plaid Cymru are more left-leaning than the Ulster Unionists, they are more likely to oppose Tory plans than those of NuLabor or the Lib-Dems.
    Assuming a 'hung' Parliament, any minority government would have to walk a centrist path to remain in power.
    In Europe and elsewhere, where PR and coalitions are the norm, it is accepted that it can take up to 40 days for a government to appear, most of that time is taken to agree a common program the coalition parties can agree on.
    These countries tend to follow a centrist policy without the wild swings from one political dogma to another.
    For the UK it may herald a return to a modernised form of politics we had before the growth of mass political parties ,with all that entails with the three line whip and party discipline being put before the needs of the people. Incidently that period provides the definition of the Prime Minister, 'he who can command a majority in the House'.
    We'll see where we are on the morning of May the 7th.
    Personally I fear an Eton Mess.

  • Comment number 28.

    A hung parliament that led to a coalition including any of the territorial Nationalist parties (Scotland, Wales, possibly NI though that's different) would be a bad thing for exactly the reason that Mr. Salmond has given to his own Party: the nationalist groups would try to extract concessions for their own parochial interests. We have quite enough English-financed concessions already, thanks very much.
    A hung Parliament leading to a coalition involving a third party which stands in all parts of the UK would be a very different matter. Twenty-odd years of single party domination of either Lab or Con hasn't served us very well, so why not a coalition which includes the LibDems, if that party felt it would benefit both them and the country? We can certainly do worse, and with proportional representation bound to come in the end, why not give the idea of coalition a try now?
    Some people will say it could only keep Labour in, but I wouldn't be so sure. It depends how much the Tories want power back, and whether they would want to see themselves as a party of the Centre-Right. Others of course might point to the 'Lib-Lab Pact' of the late '70s, as being the very thing that we DON'T want, and I'd agree with them having seen it at close quarters; but that was a very different situation.

  • Comment number 29.

    A hung parliament sounds more like it for me! MY one question is would they hang them in London or in their constituencies? Id like to see the real-life version and not the rigged televised hanging, because Im sure they'd slip their nooses!

  • Comment number 30.

    If the Lib-Lab (or Lib-Con) coalition in a `hung' parliament outweighs anything the SNP can come up with......then who cares what Alex Minnow says?

  • Comment number 31.

    When Tony Blair adopted Tory policies, and Cameron eased over towards the middle, we effectively stopped being a two-party country anyway. Both parties agreed to lie down and let the money men walk all over us.

  • Comment number 32.

    I doubt I would be happy with any parliament, because frankly, they tend to vote for what's good for the rich, which of course, includes them, and not for what is good for the common man.

  • Comment number 33.

    It would seem to be the best possible result.

    Labour has already proposed electoral reform, leaning towards transferrable vote. Blair lost interest in reform when he got a big majority.

    LibDems are pro-reform.

    Only the Conservatives are against it, and only their leader has stood up and said "if I don't win I won't co-operate with anyone or work for the good of the country". If that kind of unhelpful thinking and old fashioned politics can be got rid of there's a good chance that the electorate will be more enthusiastic to vote in the future.

    A hung parlaiment is the door to electoral reform and a real voice for millions of people.

  • Comment number 34.

    Yes, but would there be enough rope to go round?!?!?!


  • Comment number 35.

    I like the connection between hanging and Parliament. Food for thought.
    But in this world it really does not matter whether there is an overall majority of any party or a distribution without a clear majority. Why not? Because nearly all prospective MPs have been selected by those who have economic and military clout long before their respective parties choose them. We have a well disciplined political class with hardly any differences, all committed to current economic dogmas, the myths of multiculturalism, man made global warming, support for dictators in the developing world, support for whatever war the US leaders desire, and when in power a committment to secrecy and whitewash.

  • Comment number 36.

    A hung Parliament would give the politicians of various parties a last chance to work for the people of the country first, rather than it seems, themselves.
    If there is a hung Parliament,or hung Parliaments, and politicians carry on as before, then at least it could be said they got the opportunity to improve/raise their game before the people quietly take them out, and line them up at the long wall...

    [Declaration: Having advised the 3.85 with Betfair some time ago, i see no reason to lay off the bet yet,despite current odds of 1.72 in places...]

  • Comment number 37.

    Anything that gets rid of "bully boy" Brown and the return of "the sons of Thatcher", is a brilliant result for this election. What is will mean is an end to an elected dictatorship and hopefully the beginning of a new era, with voting reform and an end to "old boys network" that is an appointed House of Lords. At last the public have awakened from the sleepwalk to Labour and to Tory, consensus politics will bring an end to the draconian legislation that has been the hallmark of "Nanny" Labour a now Socialist Ultra-Right party, hellbent on cowering the populous and creating a "Stazi" style State of Orwellian proportions. Today's Tories an unknown quantity, but their track record points to times of austerity and disadvantage to working people, with the wealth being "sucked" upwards at the expense of the living standards of those that toil for the masters. So and end to Class suppression or State supression, it can only be good to try something different. Roll on May 7th and the trumoil it hopefully will cause in the Labour and Tory parties and goodbye to Gordon Brown and his "henchmen".

  • Comment number 38.

    I agree with David Ross, the whole lot of them should be hung, MP's and bankers together.

    The last person entering the Houses of Parliment with good intent was Guy Fawkes.

  • Comment number 39.

    A hung parliament in the short-term will be ideal. It will force all the parties to work together for a change instead of vetoing policy because of party dogma. Then, after some major reforms (including some sort of PR) have been agreed call a new election and have a truly democratic Government

  • Comment number 40.

    A hung parliament would be terrible for england if Alex Salmond had any power. The english taxpayer would end up paying for even more freebies for the Scots If the SNP want to give students free tuition fees and give the old free care then they should raise extra tax in Scotland.

  • Comment number 41.

    You bet I'd be happy for a hung parliament, unless of course the electorate gives UKIP an overall majority which is unlikely.

    A hung parliament might just stop these arrogant politicians running roughshod over us! Let them work for their money (they could start by turning up at Westminster now and again).

  • Comment number 42.

    It's about time someone hung parliament. It might as well be Mr Salmond.

  • Comment number 43.

    Under normal circumstances I am in favour of a hung parliament, but given the mess that Labour and the banks has created I would prefer a small (i.e. less than 20) overall majority - or nothing will get done.

    The reason I normally like the idea is that it generates an environment where any proposal has to been argued for properly, rather than rammed through regardless by a large majority without any semblance of debate - after all, if you don't need to put up a convincing argument for what you want to do, why bother? But at the moment, the candidates are so mediocre that there isn't anyone with the capacity to produce a convincing argument (I have my doubts about them having ideas to argue in favour of, to be honest) so a small majority will be sufficient to get things done but not enough to enable whoever wins to ride roughshod over everyone.

    The SNP's hopes of a hung parliament just so they can gain advantage for one part of the country smacks of treason. Anyone elected to the UK parliament is required to work on behalf of the entire UK - if you do not have that intention, please do not even stand in this election.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'd be happy if the BBC would actually cover this election in an unbiased way, your headlines are a disgrace!!!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Can't we give Scotland its complete independence then we don't have to put up with this annoying little man.

  • Comment number 46.

    "The only thing that should be hung are real Hams"

  • Comment number 47.

    At 2:55pm on 20 Apr 2010, Bob Matthews wrote:
    A hung parliament whilst not being ideal would be far better than a Tory government. I would suggest any voter who is interested in having a fairer Great Britain where all not the few are considered, should vote tactically to ensure the defaet wherever possible of the tory candidate. No one in their right mind wants to see the return of the greedy mean spirited politics of the thatcher and major years. Do you think Cameron and his childish chanellor boy george will do anything for you? I doubt it. The tory party behind its facade of "were in it togther" have not changed, they are still the "nasty" party.
    This of course is your opinion, in my opinion no one in their right mind would vote for Gordon Brown. I remember the previous labour government before Mrs T, absolute nightmare, Britain was a laughing stock, socialists and Unions ruined this country and thankfully we had someone strong enough to pull the country up and make people responsible for themselves, which of course was then taken away again by Bliar and GB. They had a chance to do great things, having inherited a great economy, but all they have done is throw it away and put the country in hock! No more nannying, I want to run and live my own life thank you very much!
    A hung parliament would be a disaster!

  • Comment number 48.

    The phrase 'hung parliament' is such a sweet one.
    If only it involved rope.

  • Comment number 49.

    It will not be a hung parliament if everyone thinks over the last 13 years, wars, lies, pensions robbed, serps and additional pensions frozen, gold sold for nothing, the only people wanting a hung parliament is Gordon Brown because he is frightened of losing power, he has ruined this lovely country and the worst PM and Chancellor in my many years.

  • Comment number 50.

    I am angry to read about Alex Salmond's intentions, to encourage a hung parliament and therefore be to take advantage of the position to ensure Scottish interests are served above all else. The Welsh nationalists seem to be on the same mission.

    Is no one looking at the national interest? Who is fighting for English interests? Are the english only there to pay the bill?

    Gordon and the labour party are happily supporting a hung parliament as it will mean they get to stay in power. Is this what it has come to, an immoral, no principals bunch of politicans doing anything and saying anything to stay in power and not a care for the ordinary people?

    I cant stand the thought of another 5 years of Gordon in power, I am buying the argument that a vote for Nick Clegg will mean Gordon stays in power so like it or not I am going to give Cameron a chance. Better that than just rolling over to the likes of Salmond and the Welsh who only see an opportunity to plunder England.

  • Comment number 51.

    A hung parliament is the last thing we need, but that's what clegg would deliver, with Brown still gripping on by his finger nails...

  • Comment number 52.

    A hung parliament would see the pound sink and the UK with it. a decisive government is what is required.

  • Comment number 53.

    I am not worried about a hung parliament. However I am worried about the possibility of a man, who is not even becoming an MP, thinking he will hold sway over the rest of the UK. That sounds a little like a dictatorship not a democracy.

    Alex Salmon would happily bleed the rest of the countries in the UK dry just to keep his popularity up in Scotland. I do hope that the Scottish people see sense and recognise that none of the countries within the UK can be successful without the support of the others and consigns people like Mr Salmon to the scrap heap with other parties like his (don't suppose I should mentions Plaid and the BNP in the same breath should, but they are all extreme nationalist parties)

  • Comment number 54.

    1. At 2:41pm on 20 Apr 2010, Mrs Vee

    well said!

  • Comment number 55.

    This man is apower hungry despot only interested in his own ego, if he thinks he is going to have a say in a hung parliment he is madder than we scots thought.It`s about time all the party`s started to work to gether for the country and not for there own ego`s.

  • Comment number 56.

    I would prefer hanged parliamentarians! All of them dangling from lamp posts around Westminster as a lasting warning to any other self serving, morally bankrupt, corrupt and incompetent individual considering stealing from the public purse!!!

    But, that's just a reoccurring dream I experience during chilling nights!

    I guess a hung parliament would make a change from an incompetent majority government!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    I would welcome any result which made all the parties work together for the good of the country as a whole, without the endless seesaw we have been enduring for years.

  • Comment number 58.

    Alex Salmond's comments on the possibility of a hung parliament are entirely those of him and his single issue so-called government. I think, speaking as a Scot, that a reminder is needed to our fellow citizens in the rest of the UK, that in Scotland devolution came into being on the slenderest of majorities from a very low voter turnout. In fact, not one single person I know voted for it. Mr Salmond does not speak for me, nor does he speak for the many thousands of taxpayers in Scotland who are not on the independence bandwagon. Trust me, many of us would pack up and leave should that particular insanity come to pass. The SNP "government" is simply not very successful, has had to renege on many of its "utopian" promises, and Scotland is currently no-one's idea of a paradise!!

  • Comment number 59.

    It's big majorities that cause the problem - not hung parliaments! Thatcher's biggest mistake, the poll tax, was pushed through because of her huge majority. Blair's biggest mistake, the Iraq war, similarly. When government requires clear thinking and consensus rather than following an ideological dogma we will get good decisions.
    If Cameron thinks talking with others and finding common sensible ground is haggling and counter-productive it just shows how far he is removed from the way most of us have to operate in our daily lives.
    Wake up, David! The British people want thoughtful leadership and you are only bringing blind dogma to the table ( sometimes, it's true, wrapped in pretty but meaningless wrapping paper - ' The Big Society ' ) ... and, sadly, your party has done this for far too long.

  • Comment number 60.

    Democracy in the UK is dead. A hung parliament will be a good thing. It should tell those that seek power that the people have had enough of Blind Deaf and Dumb leaders and want a fair system of government. I also hope that the minor partys do well Ukip the Greens and the BNP there should be enough disgruntled people to ensure they get some votes.
    The old days of RED BLUE and YELLOW partys will be over and hopefully the election system can be changed to ensure that we never have to put up with dictators again.

  • Comment number 61.

    Cameron will say anything right now to scare people.
    Remembering back to 1974, the Tories were the ones given the option on a coalition with the Liberals, but Heath baled out.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hung parliament is fine by me. In fact from what I can see the only people unhappy about the idea are the rabid tories on here who had the opinion that it was their turn and now seem to be upset because they had thought that they were going to romp to victory and all they had to do was turn up. The arrogant aggressive response to anyone who disagrees with their far right opinions is probably why more people are turning to Clegg and the Lib Dems every day.
    The other option of a Tory (the rich get richer and the poor get the blame) government is simply dreadful. The idea that a party packed full of investment bankers and city boys is the one to deal with the excesses of the financial services sector is frankly laughable.

  • Comment number 63.

    Bob Mathews we are in 2010 get over Thatcher she was last in power in the 90`s your arguments are outdated and utter nonsense. By the way which party is in power again and who was the last party in power who caused an economic mess Give you a clue Labour and who was it who had OAP in prison because they did not pay their council Tax? Labour so don`t go on about the Tories being the nasty party

  • Comment number 64.

    cha-cha-char wrote:
    "You have to feel sorry for the Scots.Having replaced an inept Labour government with an economically illiterate and socially disastrous SNP leadership, Alex Salmond,"

    I think that you'll find Alex Salmond to be a very astute politician. He can wipe the floor with any other politician on Question Time, he can rid Scotland of the completely useless Trident, he won't needlessly invade other countries to kill their people, and he makes sense when talking about sound economic policies.
    Good luck Mr Salmond, and hopefully goodbye "Great" Britain!

  • Comment number 65.

    Leaving aside the Scottish, Welsh & Northern Irish parties for the moment, when you have three parties each on around 30% in the polls as we have at the moment, a hung (or balanced) parliament is surely inevitable. If that is how the people vote, then that is what the people get.
    After the election we will get the horse trading, when different parties will try to wring concessions out of the biggest parties to share power. I for one have no problem with that. For instance, David Cameron says that a vote for the Lib-Dems is a vote for Gordon Brown. This could be true, but I would suggest that it would not be the same Gordon Brown who we have at the moment. He would have to bend to accomodate his new partners, and we could end up with quite an attractive package. The same goes for the smaller parties. The leaders of the SNP, Plaid etc would, quite frankly, be daft if they did not try to gain some advantage from the situation. I would suggest that, to any democrat, there is nothing amiss with a hung (or balanced) parliament. If the people are undecided, then this must be reflected in the make up of the Government.
    The worst case scenario in my book would be if the two parties whose policies are the most similar entered coalition. Can you imagine a Con-Lab pact? It doesn't bear thinking about.

  • Comment number 66.

    One more reason amongst many, not to vote for the SNP. It would be detrimental to the UK (but maybe that's the idea).

  • Comment number 67.

    There is clearly a total lack of understanding by a lot of Little Englanders as to what exactly constitutes government in the UK. Westminster represents the UK (not England). Until you get this please do not throw your biased comments around.

    If Englands wants devolution then please vote for it but it has nothing to do with the General Election.

    If you want the equivalent of the SNP and Plaid Cymru then create an equivalent party (and not the BNP or UKIP). Then stop voting for Labour, Tories or Lib Dems.

    If the people of Scotland vote SNP it is because they want their Westminister MPs to represent them at Westminster. They will expect them to fight for them. if anyone in England votes for Labour, Tories or Lib Dem they are voting for a NATIONAL party and they should take the consequencies.

  • Comment number 68.

    I do not fear a balanced Parliament where the Parties will have to compromise for the common good. However the Excutive would have to have members from all 3 major Parties and not just the party with the most seats and the party with the fewest seats. We are still in crisis following the bank credit crunch debacle and a government of national unity is required to see us through the next 4 to 5 years.

  • Comment number 69.

    It would be a absolute disaster. The country needs a clear direction, not a mismatch of squabbling individuals seeking broker power.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    Hung Parliament? For the last 13 years, a party that had about 30% of the actual votes cast, has had a disproportionate amount of MPs. The 70% of the public who did not actually vote Labour, have had no voice, thanks to the one past the post system. Made even worse by Labour germinadering boundary changes, and postal votes which are open to corruption. If a hung parliament produced electoral reform, then bring it on.

  • Comment number 72.

    Answer: NO. But given the possibility that this might happen after the election, I believe the time is fast approaching for all 3 main party leaders to explain to the British electorate how they will conduct themselves for the greater good of the country in that event. It is important that the electorate knows this before they vote because it is the next administration that will be dealing with the serious financial mess we find ourselves in. For example, if Nick Clegg were to say that he would be happy in a coalition with Labour, I would most certainly not vote for him. Even if I suspect that this might happen, I would not vote for him. I know it is asking a great deal, but the politicians must now take us into their confidence and be honest with the British people for the sake of the country. Please could this question be asked at the next debate.

  • Comment number 73.

    58. Eleanor
    I think your comments are well understood. Unfortunately, until the people of Scotland actually push him out, he will keep on putting your great country down.

    I really do hope that you all give him the push soon. Then the countries of the UK can start doing what they do best, working together rather than falling apart.

    I wish you well for the future.

  • Comment number 74.

    A "hung parliament" is a poor phrase. It shows a lack of respect for the electorate. Each party should campaign on the merits of their own policies and then let the people decide.

    If the people decide that they do not want to give an overall majority to one party, then the polititians have to respond to what the people have decreed. The largest party and a smaller party are obliged to attempt to create a programme for government from the best parts of both their policies. If they fail to negotiate a programme for government then the responsibility passes to the next largest party.

    Once a programme for government is agreed then the parties are wedded for 5 years to do the work that the people have asked them to do.
    Talk of hung parliaments is an insult to the intelligence of the electorate. The people are allowed to ask for the engine of one party and the bodywork of another.

  • Comment number 75.

    It is ilegal to accept a bribe in exchange for your vote as an MP.
    It is also illegal to activly seek a bribe as an MP.

    The secfond an MP braggs to the press that he secured extra / none cout funding for his pet cause in exchange for his support I will be writing to the police in westminsiter, tyhe police in his constiuancy, the PM, the speaker and the parlimentry standards committe demanding the MP's and the relivant ministers sespension pending a full enquirie into bribary.

  • Comment number 76.

    Excellent point walkingboots I'm 100% in agreement with you.

  • Comment number 77.

    Absolutely I would be happy with a hung parliament, if the outcome of that was the Lib Dems almost certainly holding the balance of power and forcing electoral reform.

    It's time all the scaremongers who warn of the "dangers" of coalition politics and proportional representation, with no party ever again being able to become an elected dictatorship as we have now with minority-vote one-party government, took a long look at the way it works in Europe, for example Germany. For every example of coalition government creating a mess there is at least one which has produced a more successful country that our unfair outdated system has. The German system was devised by British constitutional experts after WWII precisely to prevent the return of an elected dictatorship... perhaps we should now take our own expert advice, even if it's sixty years late. It's even arguable that the mess in countries like Italy has not harmed their economy - they're doing as well as us.

    And if the City is so against a hung parliament that the pound will fall in value if we get one... good. It will help what little remains of our exporting manufacturing industry, and teach the City that it is not god.

  • Comment number 78.

    Isn't it about time the UK dumped (opps sorry), gave Scotland its independence, and cut off the constant drain of our (the tax payer) funds to the desolate north.
    What gives Scotland the right to demand we support them. If they want independence, then give it to them, totally.
    Anyway we've got most of the oil out, let them go.

  • Comment number 79.

    It would be an unmitigated disaster because David Cameron, the right-wing press and vested interests in the the city tell me so. It would result in the collapse in sterling - Why? It just would - and a weakened country flooded with asylum seekers, their rabid pets and various and sundry other things to unquestioningly fear. We'd go to hell in a handcart, fact.

  • Comment number 80.

    Hung parliament is the best thing that could happen to the UK government. The government of the Netherlands, Germany, Canada are hung parliaments and they don't seem to fare less well than the UK. Quiet the opposite.

    A hung parliament forces the parties to cooperate with each others and forces to make compromises. This ensures that a midway path is chosen and extreme solutions are ruled out which might hurt certain people or the economy. However knowing the British politics it will be a wash of idiotic backroom deals.

  • Comment number 81.

    Since when may I ask has Parliament ever listended to what Joe Public has to say? only at election time, they have to come a mix with the smelly masses. They ignore us on crime, immigration, war etc etc, so what makes you think that they will listen now. A hung parliament, yes I would hang it.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    Of course it does depend on the hung parliament. A Lib-Lab pact would be a disaster, we do not want any more years of Labour, GB needs to go. Can not believe the Lib-Dems want to get into bed with Labour, obviously they do not deserve any right thinking person's vote.
    I would gladly go back to the 80's early 90's, I had a better life then and no I am and never have been rich, but I have always taken responsibility for myself and my family, have never been in debt, never had what I couldn't afford.

  • Comment number 84.

    Salmond hardly swims in a sea of credibility - his calls for a hung parliament are nothing but an ill-thought soundbite to raise the profile of the SNP's manifesto.

    It's genuinely worrying that so many voters appear to agree with the sentiment however. Britain doesn't have a good history of coalitions because, frankly, we lack the empathy and maturity to make them work. It's dangerous to assume that "consensus" arises from logical, reasoned debate. It doesn't - it's about bargaining and concession. The Prime Minister will pay through the nose in electoral reform and devolution legislation if the Lib Dems are to prop up a fourth Labour term.

    My only solace is that - unless the British Public suddenly goes insane - the Tories will deliver both Brown and Clegg a sound spanking on May 6.

  • Comment number 85.

    If it means not having another Labour absolute Majority then absolutely. There are loads of arguments saying that a coalition would be a disaster but I take the other side of the coin and think that providing there are an even amount of seats in Parliament for each Party, then it could become Government by consensus! The last Conservative (Major) Government was a disaster because it was held together by a tiny minority of so-called others! If our voting system reflected a fairer share of the vote then Parties would have to work together, otherwise they may have another Poll Tax on their hands. This ridiculous state of each Party (apologies to other minority Parties and supporters) Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat say getting 30 percent each but approximately 100 seat difference between each Party is totally unacceptable.

  • Comment number 86.

    A hung parliment would be the wors thing for the economy and more to the point the English people. If Alex Salmon and his loony party want a seperate Scotland give it to them and pull out all of our interests including the oil taht was paid for by the English people whn the dockyards collapsed because of union and inefficient and costly Scots.

    It's about time we in England had our own represenative parliment in the same way the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish have or is it one rule for us and anything goes for them just to keep them quiet. Creat a Scottish passport and lets see how many of the Scots here in Egland would take it up and secondly go back and pay the tax to a pathetic Scottish SNP.

  • Comment number 87.

    56. At 4:09pm on 20 Apr 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    Ha Ha! Yet again I find myself in agreement with you Mr Ghost! But however did you get this very obvious threat to the lives of our beloved Parliamentarians past the Moderator(s)?

  • Comment number 88.

    I think the correct wording is a 'hanged parliament', and I think it's a fantastic idea.

  • Comment number 89.

    55. At 4:08pm on 20 Apr 2010, soult wrote:
    Please all Scots do not be offended! (Believe me if I could afford it, Scotland is my preferred Country of residence), but it seems to me that Scotland has the best of both Worlds. Devolution brings tax raising powers within Scotland yet is also subsidised by the English portion of the current United Kingdom! Alex Salmond as far as I am concerned is the worse kind of Benefit Scrounger!

  • Comment number 90.

    Since most of the business of the British parliament is English devolved matters, “the country” in many respects really means England. And here we have a leader from another country telling the English that an election to a parliament which will be dealing largely with English business is a great opportunity for his own country. But since the only legislation that he should be concerned with is for matters reserved to the UK parliament, ie not devolved to other countries in the UK, why does he says it’s a great opportunity for his country instead of a great opportunity for the whole of the UK? So, good or bad for Britain, Salmond is clearly only thinking of Scotland – and that in itself is bad for the UK, for you cannot serve two masters.
    In a way we’ve already seen a type of hung parliament: the British Labour government has relied on the votes of individuals from outside England to pass English legislation and keep itself in power, similarly to a new hung parliament relying on individuals from other political parties to help pass its legislation and keep it in power.

  • Comment number 91.

    NuLab/Lib Dem coalition will certianly mean we will be forced into the Euro and wont even get to vote on it.

    Remember when Clegg&Co helped NuLabour pass the Lisbon Treaty through parliament.
    Of course you dont or people would be that dumb vote them.

  • Comment number 92.

    A hung parliament is the result I'm hoping for. It'll prevent the dangerous policies of any one party from being able to do as much damage, which would be the inevitable result if a single one gets all the power. Furthermore, there's always a chance that it might actually allow the government to get something useful done about the dire state of the country's finances. In a majority government they have to take all the responsibility themselves, so spend too much effort in making a real mess of things by trying to pretend there isn't a problem. With a coalition government that isn't as necessary for them.

  • Comment number 93.

    The problem with a hung parliament is that it may put a disproportionate degree of power and influence into the hands of minority parties with very small popular support across the whole country. Does anyone really relish the prospect of a Tory-led government dependent on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party and/or UKIP? Or New Labour holding on to power through concessions to Sinn Fein and the Scots/Welsh nationalists?

    Such scenarios are the risk of a hung parliament; even worse, these would become the norm under proportional representation.

    In the short term, though, the biggest risk from a hung parliament would be of a government that is unable to push through necessary but potentially unpopular legislation - particularly to curb excesses of public expenditure. A minority-led government would not be able to rely on parliamentary support within a factional coalition and would also be faced with the likelihood of another general election in the immediate future.

  • Comment number 94.

    To quote that well known adage - hanging is too good for them!
    Just couldn't resist that although given what has been going on in Westminster over the past few years flogging would not be too much out of place.
    A hung parliament is clearly wrong since it is not something that anyone can directly vote for. The possibility of a hung parliament or even a return of Labour with a minority of the overall vote highlights the urgent need for a change to the current electoral system.

  • Comment number 95.

    "A hung Parliament would put the losers in power, or, even worse, leave the Country drifting without a Government for months."

    I would rather like to be in a country which was "drifting without a Government" for months, possibly years. The Executive would keep services going and we should be spared all the odious and unwanted "policies" offered to us by those persons whose political parties think they have some sort of right to dictate how we all live our lives. Governments have, over relatively recent years, done far more harm than good and I for one would rather like a break from them. I am tempted to ask, "What has the Government done for me lately?" but I already know the answer.

  • Comment number 96.

    A hung parliament will be good for the country in the long run. We have to shake ourselves from the musty old rags of the two party system and the constant lies and deception of Labour and Tory government.Whilst other countries have moved on we have languished behind still in the past of 20th century politics. A hung parliament is the first step and the next will be a total reform of how our country is run and the abolition of political parties forever.Bring it on-the people are ready.

  • Comment number 97.

    Nothing wrong with a hung parliament provided it's a well hung Parliament.

    If people really want a change then that's the biggest change they could get, a change from a 2+1 party system to a 3 party system. People need to decide whether they're just complaining for the sake of it and dont really want change in which case, shut up about change and just vote Tory or Labour to get x more years of the same. The Lib Dems are, in reality, not much different policy wise to the other two, it's like being given a choice between Tinky Winky, Dipsy and Lala, they may all be different colours but in the end they're all Tellytubbies. The Lib Dem power lies not in policy differences but in that a substantial vote for them will result in a real change to the political system.

  • Comment number 98.

    A nightmare scenario.

    Unfortunately I can see many sleep walking into voting for LD...

  • Comment number 99.

    If there is a hung parliament, then it will be even more corrupt than it already is, such as Lib Lab pacts.

  • Comment number 100.

    If it stops politicians fighting wars and sacrificing innocent lives for financial gain, like Tony Blair did, then a hung parliament would be a good thing.

    Having said that, I wouldn't want the Party of War, New Labour, who sacrificed so many lives of our soldiers for their greed and bloodlust, to be involved in the next government.

    Those in New Labour who architected and lied about the Iraq war ought to be tried for war crimes.


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