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Now what?

Nick Robinson | 06:42 UK time, Friday, 7 May 2010

That is the unanswered question at the end of an extraordinary, unprecedented and inconclusive night.

And it may stay unanswered at the end of today and, indeed, at the end of many days to come.

The reason is simple. Winning an election - in the sense of comprehensively beating your opponents - is not enough for the Conservatives. David Cameron has to prove that he can command a majority of votes in the House of Commons.

The Conservatives argue that Labour has been overwhelming rejected and, therefore, has no mandate to govern. However, they need either the active support or, at least, the acquiescence of other parties to govern.

What's more, Gordon Brown remains Prime Minister until he concludes that he cannot form a government and resigns. As soon as the ballot boxes began to be emptied minister after minister publicly wooed the Liberal Democrats with public pledges of electoral reform. It is clear that their only hope of survival is a coalition.

The irony is that having utterly failed to fulfil the huge expectations of an improved Lib Dem performance Nick Clegg may, after all, play the role of kingmaker in this election.


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  • Comment number 1.


  • Comment number 2.

    Not sure about the BBc total for Tory seats at 308, may be more.

    However if Labour + Liberal > Tory seats they have better prospects with the Others.

    Gordon Brown offers to lead a coalition Govt lasting 4 years to steer through the recessuion and offers to resign 1 year before the date of that election. Clegg accepts. Coalition formed.

  • Comment number 3.

    Nick says “The irony is that having utterly failed to fulfil the huge expectations of an improved Lib Dem performance Nick Clegg may, after all, play the role of kingmaker in this election”.

    Well that’s the wonder of the First past the post system for you Nicky - & we still end up with Brown as PM & a Hung Parliament.

  • Comment number 4.

    If Brown hangs on after this, he will destroy Labour.

    I reckon there will be another election come October.

    I note the pound is down already against the dollar. The markets might force the hand of the coalition discussions.

  • Comment number 5.

    The Conservatives have clearly failed to convince the public to give them a majority, so any attempt to claim the right to govern simply on the basis of having more seats per se, is just wrong. They cannot just circumnavigate the constitutional arrangements on their own say so, or with the support of the right wing media.

    If the current trends continue, and we do get a hung parliament, the Liberal Democrats should extract some heavy concessions for support or a coalition.

  • Comment number 6.

    This clearly shows there is a big movement to split the union the only way a Scottish Prime Minister can rule the country is by support outside of England. The Scottish and Welsh assemblies the leave us alone with them then returning to their own parliments leaving us with a hung parliament paralised to make decisions for the English majority

  • Comment number 7.

    Why is no one talking about the key marginals which will decide the outcome? From what I can see (and I have gone all the way through, so I could be wrong), two or three seats could either give the Conservatives a lead over Labour + Lib Dems, or the other way round.

  • Comment number 8.

    Your slip is showing !! Calm down dear. Labour 28% + Libdems 24% = 53% of the total VOTE. That is the truth.

    You would be kicked out of your Chair in Europe if you even dared to think your fellow tribesman's David Camerons 37% is enough to rule.Remember we are able to see through your devilish game.

  • Comment number 9.

    Assume that the 5 Sinn Fein MPs don't take their seats, as usual. Then the effective size of the Commons is 645 and 323 are needed for a majority.

    There will be 7 Democratic Unionists who are willing to ally with the Conservatives. That means that Cameron needs 316 MPs to secure a majority with their support. He seems very unlikely to get that many.

    It would be possible for a Labour/Lib Dem coalition to govern with the active support of the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists and the single Green.. Assume 256 Labour, 57 LibDem, 6 SNP and 3 PC and 1 Green get us to the magic number of 323.

  • Comment number 10.

    This had to happen, not one party should govern Britain, the politician's of Britian have got far too big for there own boots and the people are fed up with it! Politician's just follow the party line (the leader) and this has to change if we want a farer policies. In history we hung a king for not listening to the people, Not one person should have all the power! oliver Cromwell would turn in his grave!!

  • Comment number 11.

    A massive English conservative majority, yet not an overall majority - is this the time to reconsider the "devolution for England" idea?

  • Comment number 12.

    'The Conservatives argue that Labour has been overwhelming rejected and, therefore, has no mandate to govern.'

    You could also argue that the Conservatives have not overwhelmingly been selected so have no mandate to govern.

    Let the games begin.

  • Comment number 13.

    Now we find out how 'moral' his compass really is!

    The Beeb's reporter in Downing St was spot on about needing a crowbar to get him out.

  • Comment number 14.

    Waiting for Lord Voldermort to speak but I suspect he will be thinking we are still in and no one can shift us.

    Labour have run this campaign less than honorably, I doubt that it will change now. I expect Brown to say, 'with the current crisis I need to remain in power....'

    The taxi is waiting

  • Comment number 15.

    The big thing endorcing electoral reform is seeing how much the Labour party have nudged the electoral boundaries in their favour over the last 13 years. How ironic that the worst culprits are now embracing reform!

    It just shows that their main priority is to cling on for another few years, and the will of the voters be dammed.

  • Comment number 16.

    Brown was obviously relying on the polls prediction of 100+ seats for the Lib/Dems being right. Thus any coalition would have given a more than overall majority.

    Now that hasn't worked he's stuck with a possible coalition that would still be in a minority.

    Quelle dilemna!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Nick Clegg must be wondering how the 'X' factor has become the 'Why' factor!

  • Comment number 18.

    Is there now a real problem with Scottish and Welsh Assemblies? Does this now mean that the people in England now cannot decide locally who rules their country? Does this mean that the Conservatives would be wise to push for an English Assembly?

  • Comment number 19.

    Not for the first time, the support shown to the Lib Dems appears to evaporate at the polling booth; that is until one looks at the actual number of votes cast. Currently with 594 seats declared of 650 total, then we have Lib Dem with 22.8% of the popular votes, Conservatives 36.5% and Labour 28.7%; yet we have Lib Dems with only 8% of the seats in parliament, Conservatives 48% and Labour 39%.
    Once again demonstrating how first past the post delivers an unrepresentative, unfair and quite frankly ludicrous result.
    If Cameron or Brown think they should govern this country with more than 70% of voters against them, then they might achieve it, but they have little sense of fairness or integrity.
    It's time Britain accepted that the electoral system is an anachronism that should be changed. Cameron wants to give us change: fine, let him start with having the courage to create a fair voting system. Of course, we know that will not happen. If Brown wants to hang on to power, fine: but the first piece of legislation in a Lab-Lib-Dem coalition must be electoral reform and the introduction of some form of proportional representation. When that has become law, then call another election and then see how the chips fall.

  • Comment number 20.

    The sadness is that political figureheads are scapegoated to take the
    blame for world events (recession) they have little control over.

  • Comment number 21.

    All this talk of the conservatives failing to convince the public to give them a majority just doesn't add up. When I voted yesterday I wasn't asked to vote for a majority, I was asked who I thought would be best to run this country. And the results show the simple fact that more people chose the conservative party than any other party. In this situation, Labour clinging onto power would be simply wrong and they really should consider a graceful exit. Surely to do anything else would just show that they don't listen to the views of the largest chunk of the electorate at all.

    If we truly want to change politics why not just take the top 2 parties & get them to work out an agreement to run the country for a short time before the next election?

    Would that really be too much to ask given the big challenges we face right now?

  • Comment number 22.

    The overwhelming majority of the UK population those in England have clearly decided, it surely is now time for huge electoral reform with considration that the Scots who clearly want to go it alone no longer gets a voice or vote in the House of Commons,

  • Comment number 23.

    Interesting times.

    Independence for Scotland anyone?

    How long before Brown takes the Taxi that has repeatedly been called for him? I thought a week, but after the votes fiasco's could be longer, assuming Labour MP's are still a spineless as they were yesterday, it could be longer, not by much I reckon, Clegg may be disappointed, but he won't prop up a Brown premiership!

  • Comment number 24.

    Please, Please, Please Nick Robinson stop telling us that the country has voted out Gordon Brown as prime ministers. We do not vote in prime ministers in this country. We vote in parties; that's why we should have a form of PR, so that living in Cheltenham I can vote Labour and feel that my vote counts.

  • Comment number 25.

    it would be wrong for wales,scotland and NI to hold England to ransom
    over this.

    What can sum this up is that the UK is in DIRE STRAITS.

    Maybe GB will cary on for a while BUT then it becomes apparent to what the REAL problems are the UK wakes up to this and then we have a decivive
    result , lets just hope that is does not take as long as 74-79 for the country to wake up as the medicine will be that much greater.

  • Comment number 26.

    Why is almost all of England blue, but the Conservatives only have around half the seats?
    Why are the Scots and Welsh allowed to decide who gets to run England, and to vote on English issues, when we have no control over Scottish and Welsh issues?

    Ahhhh partial devolution! If the English Prime Minister was decided by English votes alone, the removals van would have been parked outside No. 10 hours ago.

    Electoral reform now! Also, no more postal/proxy voting - God only knows how much fiddling has gone on there. If you are able bodied and want to vote - don't go on holiday during a general election that you know is coming!

  • Comment number 27.

    Dear maurinhoforPM,

    Always glad to get a lesson in fair play from a Chelsea fan (shurely some mistake????). Not making a party political point either way actually. Clearly you have misrepresented my post. Furthermore I belong to no tribe and rather than carping from the sidelines, I prefer to make a real difference working with disadvantaged young people!
    I was simply asking why none of the broadcasters had given an indication as to the key constituencies which will play a pivotal role in deciding the outcome. With a margin of 2 or 3 either way I was just hoping to get some more information. Oh and by the way, even in my frazzled state, 28 + 24 = 52.

  • Comment number 28.

    Why all the angst about people not getting to vote. Apart from the issues about not enough voting papers, it is ridiculous. I put in a 13 hour day in my office yesterday and had plenty of time to vote afterwards. Why on earth were people turning up after 9pm....This is not about a dent in democracy, it is about people organising their lives to allow them to exercise their democratic right. I am massively disappointed by those who could not work this simple fact out. Let's stop complaing and stop the hysterical rhetoric from Messers Dimbleby and Robinson which we saw at 10.05pm last night. People had been disorganised in most was not a coup d'etat!

  • Comment number 29.

    Forming a coalition now is just a precursor to similar arrangements following the inevitable change to proportional voting.

    So why the wailing and gnashing of teeth about any necessary agreements made now?

    Lib Dems get voting changes.

    SNP get referendum on Ind.

    Wales get more recognition in England and Wales Cricket Board and some additional powers.

  • Comment number 30.

    Cameron's argument that Gordon has lost the mandate to govern is a compelling one.

    The fact that the Labour Party is making such desperate noises to continue to govern is actually rather worrying and tends to reveal a bit more obviously the authoritarian/State control approach that has characterised the last 13 years and is more akin to some South American Socialist state.

    Labour has got this far by hook and - more often than not - by crook. They might just pull something out of the bag.

    In the light of the results that we know of so far, it really depends on whether the LibDems really want to have themselves painted as badly as they would be in keeping a failed Government in power, just to be able to luxuriate in the trappings of power themselves.

  • Comment number 31.

    #12 what you can say is that the conseravtives have the biggest mandate by far, nearly 4 in 10 where as labour only managed just over 1 in 4.

    it roughly

    38% Con
    28% lab
    23% Lib
    11% others

    not sure that the lib would vote in entire block one way of the other

  • Comment number 32.

    Gordon Brown is still in No.10

    Taxi for RockinRobin!

  • Comment number 33.

    It is quite clear that in England the Tories have both the most seats and the most number of votes cast.

    How much longer can a Scottish MP sit in Downing Street after he voted for devolution for Scotland and Wales and consider that he has a mandate?

    The reality is that he has been massively rejected by the English so his policies on health, education, transport, policing and all the other issues that he devolved to his own country's parliament at Holyrood do not have the support of English voters.

    He voted for devolution for Scotland, he should acknowledge and accept the views of English voters.

  • Comment number 34.

    #24 17% of scoltand voted tory, but only got 1 seat out of a total 59

    I think there is your problem they should have around 10

  • Comment number 35.

    We need to see what the final outcome is, but...

    Looks like gordon brown, who never had a mandate to govern, has lost his mandate to govern. However it looks like he will still govern anyway.

    Strong stuff this 'democracy'

    Is there any chance we could get some advisors/monitors from the Afghan or Zimbabwe governments to mentor us on how to do it better?

  • Comment number 36.

    Now what?
    Search for clean underwear in airing cupboard. Black socks at half mast, today, I think ...

  • Comment number 37.

    22. At 07:55am on 07 May 2010, Maui81 wrote:
    The overwhelming majority of the UK population those in England have clearly decided, it surely is now time for huge electoral reform .....


    Er not sure about that.

    If that was what people wanted they would have given the Lib/Dems many more seats.
    They were the only Party putting it forward.

  • Comment number 38.

    But the Cameroon all got is 40% of the English votes and a disproportionate number of seats! If you want to elect a government party/leader then the an overall majority of the popular vote is really what you take. If you want a parliamentary democracy you elect representatives and leave it to them to establish a stable government. Incidentally the largest 'party' in the UK may turn out to be the 'did not bother to vote' 'non of them' and 'they would not let me in' coalition. Take me to their leader please.

  • Comment number 39.

    What now for a 'Hung' Parliament. What's that old saying "give 'em enough rope and..............."

    Now that might be the best way forward!!

  • Comment number 40.

    re #9
    Shows up the stupidity of Cameron in not doing the decent, logical, honest thing in backing Salmond's call for a referendum on full independence for Scotland. Thought at the time that might cost him more than its worth.

  • Comment number 41.

    As predicted - a hung government looms

    The big question (as it always was) is - will Gordon admit defeat and resign in the hope that the LibDems will then form a coalition with Labour? I think they will find it difficult with Gordon still in charge and will want someone else at the helm of the Labour party, he has proved time and time again not to listen and take advice

    I suspect the chances of this are so small as to require a molecular microscope to be seen

    I foresee trouble with this one - especially with voters being turned away from polling stations and some seats only being won by a few hundred votes - what a difference those few turned away could make

    I fear we are about to live through some 'interesting times' shortly.....could be fun!

    On the upside sterling has slumped which is good - I get paid in euro's so a weak pound is always welcome :)

  • Comment number 42.

    Viewing from Australia, your first-past-the-post electoral system seems to give a different mind-set. From my preferential/alternative vote mind-set, it seems clear that the UK has voted for centre-left parties (Labour and Lib-Dem have an overall majority of the vote). Having two major centre-left parties just splits the vote and makes it very difficult for Labour to win under your current system. But seeing where the majority have voted indicates that a Labour/Lib-Dem coalition or agreement actually represents the verdist of the majority.

    The Tories wil never agree to electoral reform because they can see this - their best reform would be to remove Welsh and Scots representatives from Westminster (give Wales and Scotland more independent powers).

  • Comment number 43.

    meanwilling clicidy clac the train is running into the buffers with noone at the helm.

    #20 to many G20 countires have been running on policies that have raked
    up massive debts maxing out ALL of there credit cards together.

    This is not Argentina going bust it is about serious big players going down the drain. You cannot have what you are not prepared to work for

  • Comment number 44.

    re #17
    Now for the Zzzzzzzz factor
    Oh, dear. I'm back to being depressed again. Come back Sagamix and cheer us up.

  • Comment number 45.

    What concessions would Brown have to give to the Lib Dems, Plaid, SNP, Greens Uncle Tom Cobley and all in order to hang on to power? Already the SNP are muttering about being given tax raising powers and I suspect that Plaid will be doing the same. Such action will infuriate the English who see themselves already disadvantaged give the very unfair devolution settlement (West Lothian anyone?)

    We are in the situation where a very small tail is wagging a very large dog.

    Get the inevitable second election out of the way asap

  • Comment number 46.

    re #20
    Still trying to pass the buck then, Gordon?

  • Comment number 47.

    Great coverage, what do the English (And Welsh) seats look like?
    Particularly interested in the West Lothian question...

  • Comment number 48.

    Talking about having a mandate to govern, how the hell have we got to a situation where only 65% turn out to vote (excepting those who did, but couldn't). What were the other third of the population doing all day?

  • Comment number 49.

    Seems there's 4,371 taxis in Downing Street with the meter running, all booked under the name of Robin.

    That's gonna cost...

  • Comment number 50.

    I am flabberghasted by these results.

    All those duck houses, moats, flipping, and generally 65 years of making a mess of the country, and well over half of the British electorate still want the Labour/Tory party to run the country?

    The only thing that is sure about this election result is that we'll get the government we deserve.

  • Comment number 51.

    Logically the party with the most seats in Parliament, overall majority or not, should be the first to attempt to form a government.

    It should not be a case of waiting for the loser to 'resign' - how do you resign from a job from which you have already been dismissed?

  • Comment number 52.

    Labour might have, in Cameron's phrase, 'lost the mandate', but the Conservatives don't have it either.

    It will be interesting to see now which leaders actually understand what a democracy means - it's not that the people give you a supply of career-motivated drones who wander into the voting lobby as you order, and all you do is point the way for them. Pretty obviously, if the government is to represent what the people think, these results mean there is no one party with any sort of 'right' to take control, we've told our political 'leadership' we want them to sort out positions good for the country using the individuals we have voted for.

    Sadly, I don't think we have any party leaders willing to listen or able to do what a real democratic politician should do. They'll cobble together something that limps along for a few months, then demand we have another election so that those they consider the stupid voters can 'get it right' and let them carry on in the same old way. No matter what message we send, they will do everything possible to ignore it because they don't want to hear it.

  • Comment number 53.

    The English electorate have spoken clearly- for the Conservatives whereas Scotland and Wales want Labour, Northern Ireland wants neither of course. How can we possibly have a Parliament for us in England that has no mandate to set policies on health and education and social care etc. I think we need fully devolved parliaments in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and no Scots, Irish and Welsh MPs holding us to ransom-let alone having a PM who has not been voted for by anyone in England and who cannot vote on key services in his own constituency. Electoral reform will be a good thing especially the transferable vote but we must have constitutional reform at the same time.

  • Comment number 54.

    Shocking scandal - not being allowed to vote in my labour constituency - labour knows they were going to get blasted and so all these problems arose - slow polling, closing stations....not allowing my postal vote.

    Still unable to register my vote in my own country - absolute disgrace.

  • Comment number 55.

    Let us suppose that we get a Lib/Lab pact again, a lot of us remember the last one and what a mess that was, but here is the constitutional question that develution brings.

    The pact would be supported by 51 Scottish Labour and Liberal MPs who will be able to vote on matters that do not affect their own constituents. How would that be seen in England as a legitimate government?

  • Comment number 56.

    Nice firm statement will come from GB.
    "Over 50% of the electorate has voted for the policies of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, versus 37% for the untested thinking of the Conservatives.
    We believe a coalition of like-minded Labour and Liberal Democrats offers this country both stability and reform and we will spend the next two years demonstrating this, as we we come out of recession. We will then ask the electorate to decide again on the direction.
    I will step down as Prime Minister, but will continue to work in the Government as I am required and we will also call for a referendum on electoral reform, to ensure that you, the people, are represented fairly.
    I will ask Mr Cameron if he wishes to join a Government of National Unity, so that all your views can be represented."

    Job done.

  • Comment number 57.

    My son would have been able to place a vote twice yesterday. I put him on the electoral register at our family home last year. He's since moved to London and voted in that area. He gave them his old postcode when he applied for his London vote so that he could be omitted from his North-west vote. When I placed my vote I noticed that his name was still on the list here.As I had his original polling card if I'd wanted to I could have sent his brother to vote a second time. How/why is this being allowed?
    It seems students are being allowed to vote without cards. What is there to stop them from voting twice or sending someone else to vote at home?

  • Comment number 58.

    I think we can call this the Wallet Election.

    Those unfortunates who have had their wallets picked by Mr. Brown and his friends voted to get them out.

    Those who get their wallets filled by Mr. Brown and his friends after they have picked the pockets of the unfortunate voted for them to stay on.

    Stay on or cling on? Only time will tell.

    Gordon Brown the Klingon: now there is an image!

  • Comment number 59.

    Already we have allegations of postal vote fraud and irregular voting at polling stations. Makes you proud to be British - not.
    How Gordon Brown could look the electorate in the eye and say he has a mandate to govern the UK, based soley on the election of the Scottish Liberal Democrat's MPs will be interesting to see?

  • Comment number 60.

    Amazingly, we now seeing a myriad of politicians including Mandelson and Hain bleating on about electoral reform. For God's sake New Labour have had 13 years to bring this about and have chosen not to.

    Incidentally, I notice that 'New' has been dropped from their title. Is that because they are old hat and need another, different image?!!

  • Comment number 61.

    One complication which this election has foregrounded is that Cameron has won a resounding victory in an English election but has been defeated in Wales and Scotland.
    These anomolous results fuel the demand for electoral reform which brings voters and representatives closer together.
    That the results of the election are unclear,the changes patchy not uniform,suggests the public endorse this demand.
    Cameron could show real courage and bring this forward with the other parties.If the Great Society means anything it must be a return of power from the centre to region and locality including a strengthening of local government.

  • Comment number 62.

    A coalition government that includes Labour, Liberal Democrats and the parties of the regions could well be the kind of national government that the UK needs right now.

  • Comment number 63.

    8. At 07:30am on 07 May 2010, maurinhoforPM wrote:
    Your slip is showing !! Calm down dear. Labour 28% + Libdems 24% = 53% of the total VOTE. That is the truth.

    You would be kicked out of your Chair in Europe if you even dared to think your fellow tribesman's David Camerons 37% is enough to rule.Remember we are able to see through your devilish game.

    I have to say that taking into account the Scottish and Welsh Labour seats the majority for the Tories in UK is a lot larger. I am not in favour of Brown and gang buying favour with either of these countries when the money is not there. Bottom line, I know who will end up being asked to pay more to fund it. Me and you friend.

  • Comment number 64.

    It's a story of 2 nations. Engalnd voting decisively for David Cameron and the Conservatives, Scotland voting decisively for England.

    Given that Scotland has its own parliament it would be a scandal for Scottish votes to prop up a Labour/Lib Dem coalition. Only a Conservative lead coalition or minority Government would have any legitimacy south of the border.

    If the Scots want McDoom and socialism let them go their own way.

  • Comment number 65.

    Will postal votes be separately announced so they can be compared with the total votes for each constituency? They might reveal some, er, interesting trends.

  • Comment number 66.

    If I was Cameron I would sit tight and let this play out.

    If Labour and Lib Dems join up then they have a large % of the electorate opposed to them before they even start, in addition they then have to put through the tough savings and tax rises that are coming whilst the Tories still have the power to vote against bills in the hope others will agree and assist with their view.

    12 months on, total disharmony across Lab and Libs (who have really come up short) and an electorate totally disinfranchised with the whole system.

    Never happen though, power does funny things to people (look at Brown now).

    I believe he is in number 10 and the knives are already being sharpened on him.

  • Comment number 67.

    Gordon Brown still in Downing Street is a joke. When will this man grow a pair and stand down?

  • Comment number 68.

    I've been watching last night and this morning from Northern Ireland. I don't think the DUP should be allowed to consider an alliance with the Conservatives as the Northern Ireland electorate had the opportunity to vote for the Conservatives, via their union with the UUP, and we resoundingly said 'No', with no seats going to the UCU here. The DUP also ran a campaign against the UCU arrangement particularly targetting suggesting that we should be afraid of the Conservatives getting into power.

  • Comment number 69.

    Delicious. The Tories now have to try and get their unannounced massive cuts through with a minority government ,or destroy themselves long term by accepting P.R. I can't wait to see Murdoch's face today!

  • Comment number 70.

    It looks likely that the Conservatives have an overall majority of seats (and possiby votes) in England; however, they may be denied the chance to form a government by the votes of the Welsh and Scots who have their own governments.

    The continued existence of the UK as a political entity with devolution to Scotland and Wales denies democracy to the English.

    We should now give the Welsh and Scots a choice between independence and an end to devolution.

    Anything else is completely unfair to the English.

  • Comment number 71.

    Gordon has shown time and time again that he is stubborn as a mule, thick skinned as a rhinocerous and desperate to hang on to power. How many failed attempts have there been to overthrow him as leader of the Labour party?

    I fear that he will be unmoved by the clear evidence that the public don't want him as Prime Minister. You can well imagine him right now thinking "It's my duty to lead the country in these difficult times... Only I have the skills the country needs... All the others are fools..."

    He will only leave Number 10 being dragged kicking and screaming. But the prospect of him as PM for another few years - it doesn't bear thinking of.

  • Comment number 72.

    BTW I didn't think the UK had a written constitution. So presumably this is yet another example of the mad, bad, precedents (think MPs expenses & ridiculous traditions/perks) that exist in our political system.

    It is a farce that the existing PM gets first shout on forming a coalition. This is completely and utterly undemocratic.

    It must be the person/party with the most votes that has the first opportunity to form a government. Anything less will be illegitimate and we will not stand for it.

  • Comment number 73.

    32. At 08:10am on 07 May 2010, duckoff wrote:

    Gordon Brown is still in No.10

    Taxi for RockinRobin!

    Indeed he is, and while you appear to be gloating, sterling is in free-fall, FIVE CENTS down on the dollar in 24 hours, the FTSE is plunging, with the likes of Lloyds/HBOS, RBS et al being battered.

    Maybe Gordon will still be around long enough to welcome the IMF in, in the same way his illustrious predecessor Dennis Healey did...


  • Comment number 74.

    Gordon Brown should look at what has happened in the Tasmanian State election held recently in Australia to see how a minority party in terms of seats won and the popular vote can manage to hold on and continue to govetn without too much of a fuss.

  • Comment number 75.

    #53 along with this reform Wales,scotland,NI and England SHOULD
    have separate passports. Then only passport holders of that nation can sit in that parliament.

    wonder which passport Brown would choose.

    This would then lead to our own problems of a single currency and
    four counties. With possibly 3 going the way of Greece.

    Would it then be the one left having to bail them out.

    They would have to have there own currency too

  • Comment number 76.

    Not the result the country needed, or the Conservative majority of 2, I predicted

    Frankly, the UK is finished

    The fact that Scotland is effectively the life support machine that Labour is on, with a fraction of the population of England is disgraceful

    Wales plus Scotland seats.....

    Lab 67
    LDem 13
    Con 9
    SNP 6
    Plaid 3

    One result to go

    Clearly, particularly in Scotland, there is no appetite for a Conservative Government.

    Equally in England there is no appetite for a Labour Government, none whatsoever

    In Scotland, the failure of the SNP is to the betterment of Labour

    It is the worst possible result, at the worst possible time

    Some excellent outcomes......

    Nick Griffin..getting a clear message....probably too stupid to understand it
    Jacqui Smith......political justice
    Green Party.....Caroline Lucas getting elected
    Nick Clegg having to realise that he has been deluding himself in recent weeks

    Some not so good outcomes...

    Ed Balls...yuk
    Hung parliament..utterly devastating to the economic health of the UK

    I only see a very uncertain future for the UK if this isn't resolved over the weekend

    Clegg said the party with the most seats and most votes had legitimacy

    That is clearly the Conservatives

    I favour independence for Scotland, yet the performance of the SNP suggest Scotland does not want this, yet the polarisation between England and Scotland can only spell big trouble ahead

    Cameron was indeed correct that this result would cause Sterling to be under pressure

    A very sad night for the UK, and the FTSE will be falling for some time yet

    Incidentally, in Wales the Labour vote collapsed, as it did in England

    Scotland had an even stronger vote in favour of Labour, and I see no way that the economy can be fixed with this mixture between Scotland deciding an election, as the life support machine for Labour, yet being in denial about the cuts needed

    The tail wags the dog

  • Comment number 77.

    #57 labour have turn this country into a right old mess.

  • Comment number 78.

    31. At 08:08am on 07 May 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    #12 what you can say is that the conseravtives have the biggest mandate by far, nearly 4 in 10 where as labour only managed just over 1 in 4.

    it roughly

    38% Con
    28% lab
    23% Lib
    11% others

    not sure that the lib would vote in entire block one way of the other"

    So you quote percentages and then round them to suit your opinion. Frankly thats just plain bad maths. The figures are wrong regardless,

    Lab 29%
    Con 36%
    Lib 23%

    I correctly predicted the result and the Lab and Con percentages on Wednesday, bit off with the seats but that was always a mugs game. Wonder where Kevin is this morning.

  • Comment number 79.

    The Markets: Lets not get carried away about a run on the pound - May 9th it was 0.91260 against the Euro and it is currently trading at 0.86578 (so no run on the pound)but yes it has drop from yesterday (more the result of what happen on Wall Street yesterday.) I think we will see the pound gain strength once Mr Cameron takes control.

  • Comment number 80.

    re #66
    In the periodic re-examinations of history that gets done from time to time, the Callaghan premiership was recently re-evaluated. Some people think that, although talk is always of unemptied dustbins and a winter of discontent, the government was more successful in general than is percieved.

    That said, my impression of Gordon Brown and New Labour mindset, probably means your thoughts are pretty much on track.

  • Comment number 81.

    "66. At 09:02am on 07 May 2010, Undecided wrote:
    If I was Cameron I would sit tight and let this play out."

    Not convinced he will have an option. I suspect a Lab-Lib coalition, at least in the short term. I can't imagine we will have another general election until a referendum on electoral reform. It's a disaster for Cameron which ever way you look at it. It's clear a lot of people have voted to remove Brown rather than for Cameron. Lets see how he fares against a Labour party led by David Milliband. I suspect he's missed his one chance.

  • Comment number 82.


    You are correct about Scotland, yet not Wales, where Conservative seats rose from 3 to 8, and the Labour vote went down sharply as a percentage seat

  • Comment number 83.

    The shadow of the West Lothian Question looms large over Westminster

  • Comment number 84.

    The Scots and the Welsh have “hung” the British Parliament
    Its clear to me that the English have voted for a Conservative government, we need to devolve parliament and send Gordon Brown back to Scotland.
    I would be interested to see just what the result would have been if you take out the Scottish and Welsh seats. Perhaps Nick could get the BBC’s boffins to display that on one of their fancy graphics.

  • Comment number 85.

    Not a huge surprise the pound has dipped, markets repond to rumour, speculation and above all uncertainty. Lets see what happens after the dust settles over the weekend.

  • Comment number 86.

    17. At 07:45am on 07 May 2010, Zydeco wrote:
    Nick Clegg must be wondering how the 'X' factor has become the 'Why' factor!

    I think it is three things:

    The I word, The E word and a classic 'whom do I fear the most' third party squeeze.
    It was noticeable that they have lost almost every seat where the incumbent stepped down and retained some which seemed doomed (even when polls indicated 28% share)where the current MP stood again - a trust issue basically.
    They have picked up some protest vote seats but the results in the north seem to show that fear of the Conservatives overcame dissatisfaction with Labour.

    Scotland was a disaster for Cameron, such long memories of the last Conservative government, he is really missing those seats now.
    Even managed to frighten Blaenau back in the Labour fold.In Wales despite doing better elsewhere.
    He seems also to have ensured he has no ready allies left in Northerm Ireland and will have to accomodate the DUP if he gets close enough.

    Hopefully Cameron will act as he said he would in the interests of the country and do the obvious deal as quickly as he can now the nation has avoided answering the question.

  • Comment number 87.


    Kevin is here, with a more intelligent and accurate analysis than just partisan wharbling

    This is too serious to waste time mucking about with posturing

    If you read what I have written in 76, you will probably agree with it, whether you care to admit that or not

  • Comment number 88.

    As I said earlier, NOW is the time for our politicians to start acting like statesmen and women and put the country (and therefore US!) before their party politics and personal agenda's. NO SINGLE PARTY HAS AN OVERALL MANDATE FROM US!

  • Comment number 89.

    #24 wrote "Please, Please, Please Nick Robinson stop telling us that the country has voted out Gordon Brown as prime ministers. We do not vote in prime ministers in this country. We vote in parties; that's why we should have a form of PR, so that living in Cheltenham I can vote Labour and feel that my vote counts."

    Actually you do not vote for political parties, just in case you forgot to read your ballot paper yesterday you vote for local candidates. As long as a political voting system requires a link between the MP and his constituency in the form that the local constituency has to vote for him/her (irrespective of what voting system you use) you will get non-proportional seats.

    If you want true PR then we should have no constituencies at all, and each party gets the number of seats equal to its proportion of the national vote. Personally I think that is a really bad idea as we will end up with MPs totally uninterested in local issues and only ever interested in ensuring they are as close to the top of their party's list of candidates.

  • Comment number 90.


    The FTSE is down by 12% in a week....

    This is the start of a bear market, not a blip

    A Sterling crisis is also possible, and unfortunately it is a Friday, so if Wall Street has a further bad day, we will have the weekend building up political pressure, as well as economic uncertainty

    In addition, further trouble in Greece could happen, hopefully not

    I agree that we need resolution soon, yet there is an incredibly destabilising contradiction between Scotland and England

    To this, irrespective of the Government formed, there will be no easy answer

  • Comment number 91.

    Hung Parliament is now official

  • Comment number 92.



    That is not the case

    There is a clear mandate in Scotland, and a clear mandate in England

    Unfortunately, they are different mandates

  • Comment number 93.

    Please understand Nick, that I and millions of others voted for the Labour party because that was tactically the right thing to do for the introduction of electoral reform for Westminster. As a natural Conservative, I believe that David Cameron was completely wrong-footed on PR, and was left looking devoid of integrity as he tried to defend the indefensible.

    We have spoken, and there is a clear vote in favour of a Labour, Lib-Dem, SDLP, Alliance coalition government to now bring in PR, via a quick referendum. After that we can all have a fair and just re-match, and I will probably vote Conservative again !

  • Comment number 94.

    If Gordon Brown does hang onto power, how long before he has to start being honest and making the decisions and cuts that would decimate the labour vote? Should David Cameron do the honourable thing and try and form a small minority Government (and face obliteration in the next election) or should he just sit back and let Labour and the Lib dems destroy themselves? I voted Conservative, but all parties have to face the fact that a new electoral system is needed. Time for 'change' and a 'future fair for all'!!

  • Comment number 95.

    The real travesty is this. The conservatives have an overwhelming mandate to rule in England but not quite the whole of the UK. Many of the important decisions (NHS - prescription charges etc) are taken in the devolved parliaments and yet all UK MP's have the right to decide on these issues in England. This is the real reform that this election points to. If Brown tries to hold onto power the people of England should take to the streets and voice their protest.

  • Comment number 96.



    I think Clegg has suffered by not developing his tactics throughout the campaign

    It looks like the 23% from 2005 will be the 23% in 2010

    Actually, with the exception of Scotland, Cameron has done pretty well

    The only deal that seems sustainable is a Conservative arrangement with the Lib Dems, in return for a referendum on PR

    A Lib Dem/Labour 'pact' will be very short lived, and as the economic turmoil unwinds, the penny might eventually drop

    We are in the worst crisis this country has been in since the Second World War in my view

    Watch the stock markets after Wall Street won't be pretty

  • Comment number 97.

    Interesting times ahead, as this was a UK election it's no good bleating about the Welsh and Scottish holding the English to ransom.

    England should have it's own devolved parliament but it's the English MPs who have denied the English voters their parliament not the Welsh or Scots MPs.

    Lets have a real debate about funding the various areas, lets look at the tax etc raised in the various areas and then look at the current allocation. Some voters might just get a shock that their MPs have not been totally honest in their explanations of current funding. It's easy to claim that some are better funded than others at present but it takes honesty from the government to open up the books so we can all see how accurate the various claims are.

  • Comment number 98.

    "87. At 09:33am on 07 May 2010, Kevinb wrote:

    Kevin is here, with a more intelligent and accurate analysis than just partisan wharbling"

    Nothing partisan about my post. I analysed the data and objectively made my predictions. I'm basically here crowing about being a rather good statistician rather than the result itself.

    There are some parts of your post I agree with, in particular your highs. A personal low for me was Evan Harris loosing out (to quite frankly a well organised but pretty damn tacky campaign) because he was a leading force in scientific debate in Parliament. Those shoes will not be filled.

    I disagree that England has rejected Labour. England has rejected Gordon Brown. Considering the vast differnces between the parties spent on election campaigns, his unpopularity, bigot-gate and the well organised torie press I think it's fairly staggering he polled 29%.

  • Comment number 99.

    Can the BBC do a map of voting v Governemt Direct spending.

    Wonder if Scotland will be happy for Rosyth, loosiemouth and others
    to be closed and moved elsewhere

  • Comment number 100.

    Well, it doesn't matter what the politicians want - or how much they whinge and especially it doesn't matter what the banks and bond markets want.

    The people appear to have voted for, and seem to have what they need - a hung/balanced Parliament?

    So all of them should 'roll-up their sleeves' and work TOGETHER FOR the people for a change.


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