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What does a hung parliament mean for the UK?

08:46 UK time, Friday, 7 May 2010

The UK is facing its first hung parliament for more than 30 years, which means it is not clear who will be in a position to form a government or who will be prime minister. So what should happen now?

Senior Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have been holding talks about the possibility of their parties forming a new government.

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague, part of the Tory negotiating team, said they had agreed that economic stability would be key to any deal. The two teams intend to meet again within 24 hours, after reporting to their leaders.

While the negotiations took place, Gordon Brown met Nick Clegg at the Foreign Office. Gordon Brown remains prime minister, and government business continues, with Chancellor Alistair Darling attending a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels.

What does a hung Parliament mean for the UK? Can a coalition or minority government work? Who has the right to lead the country? What should the Lib Dems do?


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

Comment on our new debate discussing a possible deal: What's more important? A deal now, or the right deal?

Comments

Page 1 of 67

  • Comment number 1.

    It means Scotland should not be governed by an unrepresentative parliament in England

  • Comment number 2.

    Maybe one vote for every six registered voters, less seats than the Conservatives and still Labour want to hold on to power by their fingernails, it smacks of desperation.

    There will be a lot of frustrated voters this morning. Can anybody tell me why Nick Clegg would want to commit political suicide by entering a coalition with Gordon Brown when most voters really want to get rid of him.

  • Comment number 3.

    Just hoping Lib Dems do not cosy upto Labour.

    Please abstain from this.

    A Lib Dem Supporter.

  • Comment number 4.

    It means that while many are disillusioned with Brown, the majority of working people (as opposed to bankers, for example) don't want Cameron and his old Etonian banker buddies in charge.

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    Certainly not Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 7.

    If Labour do manager to woo the Lib Dems then I think that is a shame because a vast majority of those who voted Lib Dem didn't want Labour and as such once again this is not what the public want.

    Can the Tories govern in a minority government don't know.

    One thing is known in the past hung parliaments mean re-elections and coupled with the fact many people were unable to vote surely this is the only sensible suggestion be interesting though if a similar result occured.

    Of course Lib Dems could be wooed for Electoral Reform and boy do we need that.

  • Comment number 8.

    It mean that all those politicians saying "Clearly" this or "Clearly" that are wrong. It's not clear. Brown has been rejected. But Cameron has NOT been given a 'clear' mandate. The Lib Dems have not made a breakthrough. So the people are at best undecided.

    We're deep in the mire. So all three should come together and work on solutions. When the current crisis has passed, do it all again. They won't do this, but whatever happens in the next few days - it won't last long.

  • Comment number 9.

    It means that the country is not going to be run properly
    There will be a whole load of blackmail and bribery leaving minorities holding the balance even though they have lost seats.
    IT will be interesting to see how many overall votes were achieved by each party regardless of regional results - either way a disaster for the country as political manipulation and backhanders will dictate policy from now on - disgusting

  • Comment number 10.

    Me after the revolution and boy is it needed.

  • Comment number 11.


    The Conservatives cannot govern without Liberal support; Labour and Liberals together are unlikely to have a majority; the country is in a financial mess and unpopular decisions are necessary.

    The answer is now obvious: form a Grand Coalition of all three major parties!

    Jim

  • Comment number 12.

    Only the Conservatives have the right to govern as they have the most seats and the biggest slice of the national vote.

  • Comment number 13.

    The first party that can create a coalition that has a majority, and can get through a Queens speach.

    If its a question of Morally, well the juries still out until the votes are in, however, its clear that the country doesnt want Labour to govern.

    Personally I'd like to see a mixed Conservative and Lib dem Government as I feel that is the best option to get us through the current Economic crisis, a partnership of Osbourne and Caborn would be what the coutnry needs at the moment.

    The question is can the parties put aside the differences for the good of the country, I doubt it.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think this election result should send ALL the parties a very clear message from the voting public if only they would care to listen to it, the British Public have clearly said none of the above it tells them that the British Public have lost all confidence in ALL politicians and have by their votes have banged their heads together, and have said work together for the good of the country.

  • Comment number 15.

    Having earlier heard Peter Hain saying that there is a considerable anti Conservative majority, it does need to be pointed out that there is a consderably more numerous anti Labour Majority! The Conservatives should now have the right to form an alliance with the Lib Dems. Labour should accept defeat, retreat, lick their wounds and reflect on what they have done to bring our Country to the brink of ruin.

  • Comment number 16.

    If we have a party with a majority why does this country need 326 seats? Also, Gordon Brown was never voted into No. 10 by the public. Let's hope that David Cameron can arrange something with the others to help.

  • Comment number 17.

    And the winner is: DEMOCRACY!!!

    This is what a "hung" parliament means: There's still hope for Democracy!

    Now every single policy, decision and bill has to be negotiated and debated in parliament so hard and fast bills can no more be passed without proper debate to the detriment of the people of the UK.

    This is indeed a great day. Finally the UK has entered an era of a modern democracy!

    The people of the UK has spoken... but much more importantly, THEY HAVE WON!!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Minority government works in Scotland. Issues are decided by consensus and are often removed from party dogma with the result that decisions are more democratic. Its a democratic farce that a party can achieve a quarter of the vote but only have less than a tenth of the representation. Similarly it is outrageous that a party can gain only 35% of the vote but have an unchallenged majority. We desperately need proportional representation for the UK elections.

    Hopefully we will see a loose coalition of Lib/Lab with electoral reform as a pre-requisite. There is also the terrifying spectre of a right wing/protestant alliance of Tories and Unionists.

  • Comment number 19.

    Come on Gordon! A change is as good as a rest; we need a change and you need a rest!

  • Comment number 20.

    Please don't complain about the "lack of Labour mandate". No one has won yet. The Tories don't have a majority mandate either.

    What it means is that Labour has to try to form a working government before he has to resign.

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Prepare for 'well technically according to the constitution' to be used as a phrase by all MP's a hell of a lot in the next 24hours...

    I didn't vote for them but in it's current result state I would much prefer a Conservative/Lib Dem deal than a Labour/Lib Dem one, however less likely that is.

  • Comment number 23.

    They should all stick to their principles and vote as they see fit on each issue.

    No deals - we voted for a hung parliament because we didn't want one party (or an unhealthy cabal of two) running roughshod over us.

    Get used to it you politicians - it's called democracy - or, at least, the nearest thing to democracy that you'll allow us.

  • Comment number 24.

    It is interesting that all of a sudden, when it looks like Labour want to cling on to power, that they dangle the carrot of "electoral reform" in front of Nick Clegg. I don't recall this being their priority in the last 13 years and I was not aware that this was massively promoted as a Labour pledge during the election campaign.

    I too hope the Lib Dems don't cosy up to Labour - They have a bigger opportunity (I would have thought) to negotiate issue by issue with a minority Conservative Government. Having said that, it is clear electoral reform is needed if a government can be created by the 2 parties who did not poll the most votes.

  • Comment number 25.

    I would like to state first I have been awake for near 23 hours folling the the coverage on the bbc so please forgive me for spelling and grammer mistakes.

    As a first time voter but also been hevily intrested in politics since I was about 14 I have been following this year alot. Personly I would like to see Labour (as long labour would be willing to elect a new party leader) and libral democrates form a colation if a hung parliment as even thou they may not have an over majority, combined they will have popular vote of 52.1% (taken from bbc at 9.30am).

  • Comment number 26.

    Constitutionally Labour have the right to try and form a Government. In reality lets examine the speeches they made. Labour (Yes Gordon why do you believe me Brown again) I will listen to the will of the people. Nick Clegg Liberal Democrat, I have said all along that the Liberal Democrats will not support Gordon Brown and will only support the party with the greatest share of the vote. Well Nick your chat at 1030 should be interesting then shouldn't it (by the way I voted for you), the Conservatives not only have the greater share of the vote but also have the most seats. Mandelson completely forgetting it is FPTP and he always supported it has now stated that a coalition with Liberal Democrats would represent a greater share of the vote.

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    In addition to this if Labour remain in power with a Lib Dem coalition then, however technically sound, a massive cloud will hang over the entire Parliament.

    The mantra of the expenses 'we were acting within the rules' will be replaced with 'according to constitution we can do this' in relation to votin, following the letters of the law but killing the spirit.

  • Comment number 29.

    This is going to be total deadlock. Total. In the short term I expect Cameron to plough ahead as PM in a minority government, but I wouldn't be surprised one bit if a second election followed later this year.

    Of course, what should actually be happening right now is a government of national unity but the egos on all sides won't permit that.

  • Comment number 30.

    "4. At 09:15am on 07 May 2010, michael_winston wrote:
    It means that while many are disillusioned with Brown, the majority of working people (as opposed to bankers, for example) don't want Cameron and his old Etonian banker buddies in charge."

    ---------------

    What are 'working people'? Given how many seats they have, I suggest that quite a lot of people that work must have voted conservative.

  • Comment number 31.

    The Conservatives have "won" but need to listen to the electorate more on issues such as immigration and the EU.

    Maybe we will have proper debate in parliament and no more NuLiebour bullying.

    A NuLiebour / Lib Democrat coalition is not what the electorate have voted for.

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    Obvioulsy no one has a clear mandate. That position will be reinforced by the % of votes cast for each party. If anything, this election has shown we need constitutional reform.

    Also, I am dismayed by the problems at polling stations. We really should be embarrassed!

  • Comment number 35.

    Didn't vote yesterday and right now i feel quite proud of that decision.
    We have an electoral system that is as 'currupt' as MP's Expenses.
    Everyone was predicting a hung parliament due to an upsurge in Liberal support.They have lost overall seats but potentialy still hold the balance of power.
    Conservatives have made most of their gains, which are substantial, from Labour, who could still end up in power.
    What a bloody mess, the clear losers in this process still potentialy win.
    All the politicians are claiming that their party has won, well for once they are right, its shame the British People didn't.
    The politicians had this one stitched up long before a vote was cast.

  • Comment number 36.

    I was listening to Today this morning and there was talk that the Conservatives plus the Ulster Unionists equal the number of MPs from Labour plus the Liberal Democrats.

    Have I missed something, because last time I checked, the Ulsters haven't yet won a single seat in Northern Ireland and there's only one seat left to declare.

  • Comment number 37.

    How can Labour say that there is 'not support for the Conservatives'.

    In 2005, Labour got 35.3% of the vote, and the Conservatives 32.3% - a 3% difference, but then Labour were happy to say they had the support of the population.

    Now, the Conservatives have 36.1% (bigger than Labour in 2005) and Labour have 29.2% (lower than the Conservatives in 2005) - a difference of nearly 7%, and Labour don't think that the Conservatives have support. How hypocritical!

    If the Labour/Conservative vote share was swapped, then Labour would have a clear majority, because of the unfair constituency boundaries.


    "1. At 09:09am on 07 May 2010, Robin wrote:

    It means Scotland should not be governed by an unrepresentative parliament in England"

    As opposed to the last 13 years when England has been governed by an unrepresentative parliament?

    There are big swathes of England with greater population than Scotland and no Labour seats. By your argument why should they be governed by a Labour government - especially one led by people who aren't even English!

  • Comment number 38.

    We need exactly the same as last time the country was about to go under, and thats a National Unity government where all the politicians come together and run the country for the good of all the people, but thats not going to happen as it wont suit the vested interest groups that lobby them. They'll all bicker, squabble and insult each other just re-enforcing the childish immature behaviour that we constantly see from them. My message to them is grow up and take some responsibility, no wonder so many people act so immaturely and selfishly these days considering how our politicians have behaved over the past 30 years.

  • Comment number 39.

    Three things. First we have no constitution. All the talk of this mythical beast is just that. For a country like GB in 2010 NOT to have a written constitution is nothing short of shameful. We send election observers all around the world when our system is so patently corrupt, unfair and morally bakrupt. To have people turned away from the polls is scandalous!

    Secondly there is a majority of "progressive" votes and seats to form a government. It is amazing that with the most unpopular PM, a deep recession and a government which had been in office for 13 years, the Tories couldnt even muster the minimum of 326 seat to form a govt.

    Finally for the Lab party to have any credibility in a coalition govt Brown has to resign and Lab to quickly elect a new leader.

  • Comment number 40.

    As a postscript to my previous post #34:

    This situation does not improve my opinion of politics and politicians in this country.

    ELECTORAL REFORM NOW!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    "4. At 09:15am on 07 May 2010, michael_winston wrote:

    It means that while many are disillusioned with Brown, the majority of working people (as opposed to bankers, for example) don't want Cameron and his old Etonian banker buddies in charge."

    But even more don't want Brown and his incompetent cronies in charge!

  • Comment number 42.

    At 09:19am on 07 May 2010, allthatswronginsport wrote:
    "If its a question of Morally, well the juries still out until the votes are in, however, its clear that the country doesnt want Labour to govern"

    Correction England doesn't want a Labour government.
    Scotland doesn't want a Conservative government,Northern Ireland doesn't want a Conservative government and Wales doesn't want a Conservative government. The UK wants a coalition government

  • Comment number 43.

    The Conservatives have won more than half the vote so should takeover.

    No one wants any more of NuLiebour!

  • Comment number 44.

    Minority or hung governments often occur because the voters are simply not comfortable handing one party the privilege of a majority. Here in Canada we have been living with a minority government for a few years. Many Canadians would say such a Parliament has its own checks and balances on the party in power.
    It would seem there is no need for the Liberal Democrats to form any coalition. Their policies are not in line with the Conservatives, and it is clear the voters have lost faith in Labour.
    Let one of the two main parties take power, and let the Liberal Democrats and the other minor parties vote on an issue-to-issue basis. If the ruling party cannot garner the support of the majority of the House on a major issue, then Parliament should be dissolved. This way the politicians will have to work together,if they want to avoid another election. And Mr. Clegg can show more leadership on an issue-by-issue basis rather than selling part of his party's soul for a few political, fleeting perks.

  • Comment number 45.

    Looks like it's going to be tricky for Nick Clegg today. If labour conceed to electoral refrom to get lib dem support, the country could be unhappy at the way the government is formed by a group of the smaller parties. As the current situation is more likely to occur on a regular basis following electoral reform, a pact with labour is more likely to lead voters to reject the idea of electoral reform. The conservatives seem unlikely to back electoral reform so I don't think Nick Clegg's likely to get this which ever way he chooses.

  • Comment number 46.

    From comments made during the night regarding how the market will respond to the result, will the market approve etc. it is clear that the markets should choose the government. Come to that, why bother with an election if the whole point is to keep the markets happy.
    We never had the big shake up of politics, just the same with younger faces.

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    Just goes to show that the voting public have the memory span of a goldfish. It extends beyond the last political scandal or budget.

    Have they already forgotten the 15% interest rates during the last period of Tory mis-rule? That the banking crisis we have just gone through was a direct result of Thatcher's deregulation of the banks, which allowed a free for all? That the mess in the NHS has it's roots in the Tory mantra of: "Privatise" and "Out-source". The list is endless.

    The only reason this mess has continued and even worsened under Labour, is that the Labour party has moved too far to the right. It too, now sucks up to big business. It too thinks that the money markets make money. (They don't. They manipulate money).

    The fundamental precept of economic growth is manufacture. Just look at China. They are growing from making things. Not holding doors open for each other or cutting each others hair. Service industries only survive because their is sufficeint money to pay for them. Money that comes from manufacture.

    So what does a hung parliament mean?

    Nothing....
    More of the same.....

  • Comment number 49.

    Cameron has no mandate for his brutal public spending cuts and no mandate to cut the benefits of the poorest in society. Labour need look no further than Brown's failure to halt the sickening fuel and energy rises that has hammered people. IF he had acted on this and did what France and Germany did...only allowing the energy companies to raise prices at the inflation rate, Brown would have many many more seats today, simply because people would see him as a man of the people instead many see Brown as a freind of a greed culture. It has lost Labour a few million votes. At the end of the day NO party said how they plan to tackle Britain's 'rip off culture' of which energy prices are just a part. Its great to see the Greens with thier first seat. The old 2 party system is destroying Britain. I would like to see a coalition of all three in these difficult economic times. Indeed I would like to see in time of War and economic crisis coalition government involving ALL parties. Labour might have to change thier leader but Cameron has fialed in his big society idea. As a Christain I condemn Tory plans to attack the vulnerable and poorest. They did not cause the reccession, deregulation and greed did amongst the Rich did. We are NOT going back to the 80s it would inflict further disaster if we did because that decade began the seeds that led to our economic crisis today.

  • Comment number 50.

    This is potentially the best result we could have had. It indicates that most of the electorate are fed up with Labour and want to get rid of Gordon Brown. It indicates that the UK wants change, but doesn't trust David Cameron enough. The other thing it shows is that the electoral system is unfair. Labour have too many MPs compared to the number of people who voted for them, while the Liberal Democrats have too few. The 'first past the post system' is unfair and doesn't always lead to a clear cut decision - it didn't last night and this is why we are in a mess this morning.

    Hopefully, we'll end up with a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition with the Lib Dems being able to encounter some of the unfair policies of the Tories e.g. raising the inheritance tax to benefit the very rich.

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    I've already posted on the election HYS - Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish parties want considerable amounts of money to support a hung parliament - when the country already is in financial difficulties - may be a party of three can force legislation through?

    So when other countries say that coalitions work - it may be at considerable cost which has become acceptable to them. Historically, they have been demonstrated not to work very well in the UK, apart from WWII.

    A hung parliament with such a difference in the number of seats between the two biggest parties - despite the constitution, Labour has NOT been voted in, and the fact that the Lib Dems have the third largest number of seats also does not mean that Labour have been voted in.

    The Conservatives seem to have the most number of seats, by a considerable amount, unless things dramatically change. If any of our MPs are grownups (which I doubt) perhaps they could put the country's interests first and support any legislation which they feel is in the country's interests and not hold off just because they haven't fixed up an arranged marriage?

    And with its loss of seats, Labour should have the humility to stand aside - we're not talking about half a dozen seats making the difference.

    If Labour do try to stay in power, can anyone tell me where the demonstration will start from?

  • Comment number 53.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 54.

    Gordon Brown has first attempt! I am not a Labour supporter but it sticks in my craw that the Tories are whingeing about the possibility of Brown doing today what Heath did to hang on to power in the early 70s.

    They knew the rules; the fact that the rules can now be used against them indicates the level of their arrogance about the result and, by extension, their disdain of the majority of the electorate.

    The important thing is the political divergence between England and the rest. Cameron and his cronies trumpetted on about the retention of the Union: it would now appear that he has been hoist by his own petard. If you regard Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of the Union and take their taxes, then you must accept the effects of regional electoral variations.

    Lots of food for thought in the near future!

  • Comment number 55.

    In the light of the current situation in Greece, the markets will probably ignore this election until next week.

    For Parliament this is a chance to truly reform, the second chamber, the boundaries and a move to PR.

    In terms of the economy - nothing will happen, no minority or coalition government will make the unpleasant decisions required as they will have an eye on the forthcoming election.

  • Comment number 56.

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

  • Comment number 57.

    Let's face it the Tories didn't do well, they had everything going for them, world recession and the ease of critising a party who has been in power for a long time. They will claim they have done well in public but there will be many questions behind the scenes. Probably the Lib Dems big chance to get PR in place

  • Comment number 58.

    I am surprised that Labour did so well! Who votes for them considering the messes they have made over the years ?

    I can only surmise that their are enough people on cushy benefits in each constituency to provide the labour support.

  • Comment number 59.

    It 'should' be David Cameron, but once Nick Clegg becomes Gordon Browns lap dog it will be Gordon Brown as yet again an unelected Prime Minister.
    How on earth do we sort this mess out? I suggest a re run in a months time, but goodness me, what a mess... no wonder HM The Queen said I don't want to see anyone until after lunch! Let Scotland rule with Labour let us have Conservative and with Wales and NI making their own choices.Its grossly unfair that the majority in those areas should count to rule the rest of us.

  • Comment number 60.

    What really is bad about a hung parliament? It just means they'll have to work together rather than one party doing whatever they want.

  • Comment number 61.

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

  • Comment number 62.

    "1. At 09:09am on 07 May 2010, Robin wrote:

    It means Scotland should not be governed by an unrepresentative parliament in England"

    It also means England should not be governed by a Scottish-dominated parliament when Scotland has it's own government dealing with many of it's affairs.

    On a slightly different note, if we're talking about unrepresentative parliaments, what about the BNP and UKIP? Love or loath their policies, they both garnered more than twice the popular vote of the Greens, and more then 5 times the vote of many smaller parties, but failed to get a seat. You can write them off as racists, but we live in a democracy where sometimes you have to listen to things you disagree with, and a significant minority of the population want them to have a (small) voice in the British Parliament

    I'd love to see just 1 or 2 BNP MPs in the Commons, abusing the PM and Opposition Leaders and asking awkward questions. Not enough to swing the vote or have any power, but enough to shake it up a bit!

  • Comment number 63.

    '30. At 09:33am on 07 May 2010, Khuli wrote:
    "4. At 09:15am on 07 May 2010, michael_winston wrote:
    It means that while many are disillusioned with Brown, the majority of working people (as opposed to bankers, for example) don't want Cameron and his old Etonian banker buddies in charge."
    ---------------

    What are 'working people'? Given how many seats they have, I suggest that quite a lot of people that work must have voted conservative.'



    Quite! I think if some of these apparently "non-working" bankers and so forth went on strike, a few "working people" might get a bit of shock at the impact it had upon them!

  • Comment number 64.

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

  • Comment number 65.

    It would have taken a Herculean effort for the Conservatives to have obtained a majority. Instead they have gained more seats than Mrs Thatcher in 1979 and more of the popular vote than Tony Blair at the 2005 election when Labour won a whopping majority.

    Despite what the media says about the Tories having failed, I personally think they did very well and should be congratulated.

  • Comment number 66.

    To have the two 'losing' parties forming a government together would be a complete joke. The Tories have the majority of seats, and while it is now extremely unlikely they can get the majority they need to have full control, it should be enough for them to be the leading party. I understand it's a hung parliament and one party cannot govern entirely on their own, but to have the most popular party shunted out the way while the least popular two govern would be completely wrong. Clearly a lot of people want change and the Tories in charge so they should definitely take a lead on running the country - Gordon Brown cannot try to hang onto his role as Prime Minister as the vast majority of people do not want him to continue in this role.

  • Comment number 67.

    If Cameron is really strong he will offer the libs a bit of power sharing in return for a five year term of national unity. The libs will get a taste of power, the conservatives will get stability, the Labour Party will get a new leader, the markets will steady and the government will get 5 years to sort out the mess we are in.

  • Comment number 68.

    Bernadette here. Only 30+ seats left to declare and hung parliament has just been confirmed. Don't forget you can follow our coverage on http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/liveevent/

  • Comment number 69.

    The Liberal Democrats have woken up and are a little bit shocked at their results. However they shot themselves in foot by leaving voters believing they would be making a coalition with the Labour party. Voters were left with no choice but to not bother voting at all or to vote Conservative in order to stop the Labour party.

  • Comment number 70.

    Hopefully, Clegg will support Cameron giving our government the stability we need to satisfy the markets so we can plan our recovery based on the retention of our credit status. If Nu Labour try to form an alliance and go on with Clown or any other unelected PM the country will be in for a very rough period of instability.

  • Comment number 71.

    The Conservatives have polled around 10.25 million votes, Labour+Lib-Dem have polled around 14.5 million votes. A Labour-Libdem coalition would have a moral mandate if one can be agreed (as would a Tory-Lib-dem coalition) but the public have voted in overwhelmingly greater numbers for centre-left /progressive parties. I'd like to see a Labour-Libdem coalition proposing only electoral reform to a PR system in the Queen's speech and for there to be another election under the new system later this year.

  • Comment number 72.

    One thing's for certain, whatever happens next won't be for the benefit of the country and the voter. It'll be about desperate attempts to grab power by whatever means necessary.

  • Comment number 73.

    Wrong question. Who wants to govern and make the cuts they all avoided talking about and then go into an election in October? If its a Lib/Lab pact then by October they will also not have the difference between them and the Tories about the timing of the £6bn extra cuts as time will have passed.

    The outcome of this election is clear, Clegg had a bad night but at the same time has been given all the decisions to make by the electorate. Brown and Cameron can sit back and see which way he jumps, and then attack him for it to position for an October election.

  • Comment number 74.

    The Conservatives have the right to govern, although they can not claim that the country endorses them. I actually think Labour did well, considering they have been in power for 13 years and had Gordon Brown as leader, who is a better no 2 than leader.
    The main problem the conservatives will have is that the policies they will have to follow will hurt them when they next go to the polling booth, and there therefore is a very good chance Labour will sweep back into power at the next election. The conservatives will also find that the unions will oppose any of the cuts they intend making in the public sector, this was always going to happen, but will now probably be stronger, particularly in the North, Wales and Scotland, where the Conservatives really don't have a mandate.
    I feel sorry for the Lib dems. An electoral system which gives less than 10% of the seats to a Party that gets 23% of the popular vote is seriously flawed.

  • Comment number 75.

    I cant beleive labour have got that many votes and people still want Gordon Brown to run this country after the mess hes got it in!! Conservatives have the most votes, surely that says something about the majority of people wanting a change..For the better!!

  • Comment number 76.

    I would quite like to see a coalition government with Labour and the Liberal Democrats. I think what's likely to happen is that Gordon Brown will agree to go, to be replaced by either Harriet Harman, David Milliband or Alan Johnson. I think we'll see a couple of Lib Dems in the Cabinet - I'd put money (ha ha) on Vince Cable as Chancellor and I could see Nick Clegg in there too - maybe International Development or Communities.

    Cameron ain't going to like it, though. I expect lots of talk of Labour 'stealing the election'. Neither is Rupert Murdoch, Richard Desmond or Rothermere - so expect to see even more vicious anti-left agendas being pushed in the Sun, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Daily Express.

  • Comment number 77.

    The best argument ever for an entirely independent and Conservative England. Who needs a so called United Kingdom with the over-represented Scotts & Welsh deciding who rules us? England for the English and good luck to independent Scotland, Wales & Ulster.

  • Comment number 78.

    What does it mean? It must mean PR.
    As a Lib-Dem supporter, the election result this morning is the 2nd best result we could have hoped for. A LibDem surge would have been wonderful but if electoral reform is your priority 9and it's mine), this result must mean a change to the voting system is inevitable.
    The Tories argument for First Past the Post has been destroyed. Cameron tells us it's the only desirable system because it gives the country and the government a clear result. But it's given the vaguest, most uncertain result conceivable.
    Under their First Past the Post result, The Tories can only rule by coalition and cannot therefore argue that coalition government is wrong. They cannot dismiss PR therefore on the grounds that it produces coalition government. By pressing the argument so unyieldingly, they've lost the argument entirely.
    The Tories have always been the hanging party and in this election they have hung themselves.

  • Comment number 79.

    I can't help but feel very uneasy about a Hung Parliament and it seems that the way the voting system works is very back-to-front! This election just seems to have left one big mess behind that isn't going to be cleared up easily or swiftly.

  • Comment number 80.

    For those that say the Conservative party have a mandate for government clearly confuse parliamentry majority with moral majority. 2/3rds of the public voted against the conservatives. For thos who say the Labour party should form the government for them to do so would make them moraly even more bankrupt than they are. The elctoral system in this country clearly stinks and produces, at best, minority dictatorships. At worst it produces the same horse trading that is used to argue in favour of it's retention. If there is any mandate from this election it is a mandate to change the system to one that makes sense in a multi party democratic system. Proof of that can be seen from the higher turnout yesterday when, for the first time in years, people in none marginal seats felt thier votes might actualy count for something. Any system that allows a single vote to be wasted is democraticaly baren. Any party that supports such a system cannot be democratic.

  • Comment number 81.

    I suggest David Cameron, who will have the largest vote and number of seats try to come to a suitable arrangement with Nick Clegg, who has a disproportionately small number of seats but a large voter backing, with a view to setting up a government which has well over 50% of the votes "behind" it and a majority sufficient to see us through what will be a very difficult period, particularly financially.

  • Comment number 82.

    51. At 09:41am on 07 May 2010, L Hillman wrote:
    I really cannot believe that there are so many brain-dead voters in this country who still voted Labour in spite of everything they have done to us and our country.

    I think this election has been a massive gerrymandering operation, which also explains why a simple task of counting the ballots is taking such a long time.

    ====================================================

    Is your view coloured by the fact that you have not got the result you wanted. Well sssoooorrrryyyyy! That's democracy for you. If you don't like it, go to North Korea or China. People in a democracy can vote whichever way they choose. It does not make them brain-dead. I guess by that comment you think on the same lines as the party you support and have only contempt for the British public. This is the very reason I am so pleased the Tories have not managed an overall majority.

  • Comment number 83.

    What does a hung parliament mean? It must mean proportional representation.
    As a Lib-Dem supporter, the election result this morning is the 2nd best result we could have hoped for. A LibDem surge would have been wonderful but if electoral reform is your priority (and it's mine), this result must mean a change to the voting system is inevitable.
    The Tories argument for First Past the Post has been destroyed. Cameron tells us it's the only desirable system because it gives the country and the government a clear result. But it's given the vaguest, most uncertain result conceivable.
    Under their First Past the Post result, The Tories can only rule by coalition and cannot therefore argue that coalition government is wrong. They cannot dismiss PR therefore on the grounds that it produces coalition government. By pressing the argument so unyieldingly, they've lost the argument entirely.
    The Tories have always been the hanging party and in this election they have hung themselves.

  • Comment number 84.

    Brown should go while he can still hold his head up or suffer humiliating defeat. If the Liberals join with Labour they will lose all credibility.

  • Comment number 85.

    Why are people lumping Labour and Lib Dems together? So what if combined they have over 50% of the vote - does it occur to you that if put Conservatives and Lib Dem together this percnetage would, of course, be even higher? Why do people automatically stick Labour & Lib Dem together just because they are liberal parties? The fact is, the Tories got the most votes - Labour should go, deal with it!

  • Comment number 86.

    re: #31

    the public have not voted for a Conservative government either.

    10.25 million Conservative (centre-right)
    14.5 million Labour+Libdem (centre-left)

    a large majority do not want the Conservatives in power

  • Comment number 87.

    I don't understand how the Scots can complain about English interference in Scottish affairs when there are no English MPs in the Scottish parliament. It can hardly be said that there are no Scots MPs voting on English legislation.

  • Comment number 88.

    as my 14yr old said this morning after i explained what a hung parliament "so they all just have to work together they wont like that" out of the mouth of babes comes the truth..... maybe the parties can take my daughter advise and work together rather and pull the country apart!!

  • Comment number 89.

    The Conservatives look like having a big majority in votes and seats in England. It would be an outrage if a Lib/Lab Government continued to vote on English laws using their Welsh and Scottish MPs.

  • Comment number 90.

    For the sake of all the people in the Uk Mr Brown should go. He was not the elected Prime Minister, he is a self appointed Prime minister, the Public have shown that he is not wanted as leader of the Labour Party, nor should he be The Prime minister. I have voted Labour for the last 45 years, but this arrogant,two faced bafoon has runied what once was a geat country. What let the conservativies down in my opinion was the shadow chancelor George Osbourn it should have been Kenneth
    clark Mr cameron will be agreat prime minister given the chance and should challenge Mr Brown for his job,

  • Comment number 91.

    Let's look at the positives for this situation. Maybe in this very important time (regarding the deficit) we require a parliament which will only make important decisions which all parties will agree on. The politicians might not like it, effectively they now have less power but more responsibility, but maybe that is what they deserve. Perhaps the voters have decided that after all the expenses scandals and the flippancy of MPs this is the best way to force the hand of the politicians. What is quite worrying is that we don't see to be able to trust the politicians to make this kind of situation work, let's try and imagine that they can

  • Comment number 92.

    Labour got a real beating by the Tories last night, and if Brown stays in power atfer this then it will be a disgrace, Conservatives won the most seats and are the biggest party, so labour should step aside, we need a quick end to this before it does us more harm than good.

  • Comment number 93.

    The Conservatives have won more than half the vote so should takeover.

    Correction, the consevative won just over 1/3rd of the vote, therefore, there 'right' to govern is questionable.

  • Comment number 94.

    A hung parliament is not the panacea that so many of the politically ignorant believe. In many ways it is actually worse than the unelected scot getting back into No 10

    Without the authority of a single party, we are about to slip into recession again. The economy will be massively harmed by this. Jobs will be lost to no avail. The pound will slip until it has 1-1 parity with the dollar, or worse, the Euro; a currency which is already in freefall. This is a disaster for the country.

    And how did it come about?

    Some of you STILL believe the lies and spin of the unelected scot.

    I cannot believe the people of this country have been so hoodwinked.
    I am completely disgusted and am praying for a lottery win this evening so I can leave all you Labour voters to suffer the catastrophe that you have wreaked on this once great country by voting along your outdated class lines. Better get used to your poverty and lack of opportunity, because it's gonna get worse.

    I was born working class but I aspired towards a better standard of living for my family. I didn't revel in my ignorance and petty prejudices like so many do.

  • Comment number 95.

    This is potentially a good result for the Tories...
    Let Labour and the Lib-Dems get into coalition and make some of those painful decisions, which will make them un-popular with the public, if they fail to make the decisions the bond markets will make the decisions for them.
    A year down the line the coalition government will fall apart, and another election will be called and the Tories will march over the other two parties.

  • Comment number 96.

    With a few votes left to count I this it's time that GB declared labour the winner with 66% of the vote, and shot anyone who disagrees with him... it work for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

  • Comment number 97.

    51. At 09:41am on 07 May 2010, L Hillman wrote:

    I really cannot believe that there are so many brain-dead voters in this country who still voted Labour in spite of everything they have done to us and our country.

    I think this election has been a massive gerrymandering operation, which also explains why a simple task of counting the ballots is taking such a long time.

    ------------------------------------------

    I dont mind people voting labour if thats what they really want (that is the way people should be voting) yet so many tactical votes is sad. Vote blue to lose red, vote red to lose blue, vote yellow to ditch the other 2. in the end we vote for a gov we dont want, policies we dont like and the poeple we would have voted for feeling like they waste their time.

  • Comment number 98.

    We are on the path to a £1 trillion debt. Labour and the Lib Dems are only talking about reducing the deficit (i.e. the rate of debt increase), but the debt will still keep growing for years...

    I don't like to focus on financial matters, because clearly communities and the environment are more important than money, but then I imagine what borrowing our kids' futures will do to them and our country! Where will our pensions be? Where will security in general come from??

    I think the hung Parliament will delay our progress in tackling the debt. Only a Tory victory could get us back on the path to growth.

  • Comment number 99.

    The media word for this election 'fascinating'
    The public's word for this election 'What was that then?'

  • Comment number 100.

    No one party has won, clearly the voting system does not reflect the electorates views well enough. Lots of voters did not feel able to vote according to their wishes, therefore there should be a referendum on whether or not we should adopt some form of proportional representation at the next election. At least for a trial period of 5 to 10 years, with a further referendum after that.

 

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