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Gordon Brown resigns: Your reaction

09:44 UK time, Monday, 10 May 2010

Gordon Brown has resigned as prime minister and leader of the Labour Party. What is your reaction?

Mr Brown is on his way to officially tender his resignation to the Queen, and recommend that Conservative leader David Cameron should succeed him.

Speaking alongside his wife Sarah outside No 10 Downing Street, he said the job had been "a privilege" and wished his successor well.

His decision comes as the Tories and Liberal Democrats are poised to agree a deal to form a government.

What your thoughts on a new government with David Cameron as prime minister? What should be the new government's main priorities? What is Mr Brown's place in history?

Watch events unfold here on the BBC News website.

Profile: Gordon Brown

Labour leadership contest: Runners and riders

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I'd like to see English MPs put their English constituents first and demand equal funding, recognition and representation for the people of England.

    There's only one way to guarantee a fair deal for the English people and that's the re-establishment of the mother of all parliaments - the English Parliament.

    This will also have the added bonus of rendering the existing commons obsolete and will therefore save rather than cost a fortune. Not more politicians - just different politicians.

  • Comment number 2.

    Better would be no deal. The right place to discuss these important matters is in the House of Commons, out in the open. Why should there be a pre-arranged deal instead of for once having a proper debate?

  • Comment number 3.

    The right deal, please! And after 13 years, I'd forgotten the concept of our elected MPs working hard for the good of the country, and not just their own party and re-election hopes.

    Very refreshing, and hopefully permanent!

  • Comment number 4.

    Enough of this deal making. Re-run the election!

    Tory voters voted for Tory policies, not LibDem ones.

    Tory voters get "tory Lite" government - and absolutely NOONE gets who they voted for. This coalition has no mandate to govern.

  • Comment number 5.

    Very simple - no referendum this year on a from of PR - No Deal.

    If Clegg does a deal without this, he will be forcing the Lib Dems into permanent obscurity.

  • Comment number 6.

    Either the Conservatives forming a minority government or a majority coalition government with the Lib Dems.
    One things is very clear, Labour, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson et al have been rejected and have no mandate to govern despite how they do the maths. A Lib/Lab Pact supported by 51 Scotish MPs with Plaid and SNP support will bring the West Lothian question to the fore and a possible constitutional crisis.

  • Comment number 7.

    More importantly, why are these talks being held in secret? Do the people not have a right even to know the details of an discussion about our future?

  • Comment number 8.

    Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg put you political differences aside and come to an agreement for the sake of our nation and economy.

  • Comment number 9.

    The thought of Gordon Brown staying on having never been elected and dismissed by most of the electorate when put forward is chilling. If both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives can inspect, and pronounce on, the dire finances that Labour has left us in, their view will not be seen as just political rhetoric. Without the Scottish support, Labour would be finished. Following devolution electoral reform is needed to address this issue.
    My suggestion is as follows:

    Have just 500 MPs
    400 constituency MPs voted for by FPTP - constituencies to be similar in size in population terms.
    100 to be precisely based on the % vote. (All other methods STV and AV favour particular parties) and appointed by the party. Standard statistical “rounding up” rules to be used which may mean this figure goes to 101.
    Each voter has TWO votes.
    One for constituency MP and One for preferred party.
    Eg. 25% vote for Lib Dems they get 25 seats in addition to their constituency MPs

    Net result.

    Reduced cost of Parliament 500 MPs against 650 now.

    Each constituency will have equal value and the MP will have constituency accountability.
    Well qualified politicians will hold main offices and be appointed via the PR route. Aspiring constituency politicians can also hold junior ministerial / shadow roles to gain experience as the 30 to 40 PR appointed MPs will not be enough.

    Election will be perceived to be fair and every vote will count.

  • Comment number 10.

    Nu Labour are banging on about electoral reform - what have they done about this for the past 13 years? They say (especially the bronzed god Hain) that a majority of people have voted "against" the Tories, yet they have enjoyed power based on the same electoral proportions themselves for years. They promise a referendum on PR if only the Lib Dems will climb into bed with them. Will this be fulfilled in the same manner as the referendum they promised on the Lisbon Treaty? Brown says that the focus should be on the 'good of the nation'. If that were true he would already have resigned as the message from the nation is clear about Labour in general and Brown in particular. All I detect is a naked desparate attempt to cling onto power. The UK is balanced on a knife edge economically and ideologies need to take a back seat. Clegg needs to be especially careful with his secret meetings, in case he is seen as simply playing both ends against the middle to maximise his desire for power.

    In short nothing much seems to have changed!

  • Comment number 11.

    It is looking more and more likely that the Liberals are looking for a deal that can be supported for quite some time as the last thing we need is another general election.

    At the end of the day, Labour lost the election and I cannot see the Liberals supporting the loosing party.

    What I would like to see is a strong deal that tackles the unprecedented debt we have in this country, a deal that tackles our out of control immigration, a deal that preserves investment in health, education and essential front line services, a deal that removes mindless waste-of-money quangos and other 'clubs' that do very little and a deal that makes judicial sentences fit the crime.

    Tax cuts would be nice but we cannot afford them and we have this debt to repay and we are in it up to our necks for the next 20 years or so.

    As a voter I am concerned with the outcome as the Conservatives had a huge swing, a huge increase in votes but because of the way constituencies were 'stitched up' by Brown & co they failed to get a majority of seats. An outright majority by one of them would have been the ideal outcome but a strong coalition/understanding might just get us through the mire in one way or another.

  • Comment number 12.

    A "progressive alliance" proposed by the Welsh and Scottish is nothing more than a an attempt to protect the disproportionate funding they get at the expense of the English tax payer.

    The Tories won and the idea that Labour can still set the agenda with less than 18% of the eligible vote would make a Lib/Lab pact both hypocritical and dangerous as I believe it may well lead to civil unrest.

    And Nick Clegg asked for a new type of politics and now he has the chance to realise his dream by working with the Tories which will mean compromise on both sides.

    Let's have a call for English devolution and separation from Scotland and Wales who are want to go it alone, so let them....

  • Comment number 13.

    The right deal is always the best one but... we are on a knife-edge with regard to our trustworthy standing in the World's financial markets. If Mr Clegg gets a reprieve on Trident, and an undertaking to hold a referendum on PR reform, then surely the deal is 75% done and the Queen should get a phone call immediately? Everything else should be up to negotiation and debate when the dust has settled and No.10 has been cleared of squatters.

  • Comment number 14.

    I know that the Tories are trying to play down the importance of electoral reform, but to me it is essential.

    I can't see any guaranteed way for the Lib Dems to come out of this unhurt in one way or the other. Forming a coalition with the Tories will most definitely lead to a well-timed new election where the Tories will win a majority and the Lib Dems take several steps back into obscurity, probably taking blame for the weak government. Letting the Tories form a minority government will pretty much lead to the same, with the Lib Dems coming out as the weak cowards who couldn't handle the position they were put in.

    I can only see the hard way as the right option: form a rainbow coalition, force a referendum on electoral reform and give this country a piece of democracy back. It will be the Lib Dems' legacy and it will serve them and the country well in the long run.

  • Comment number 15.

    The right deal - between labour and the lib dems that is!

  • Comment number 16.

    I voted lib dem, and I think Labour aren't too horrendous either, so I personally hope these two parties collaborate.

    but in terms of democracy, shouldn't labour and the tories talk about sharing power, as the two largest parties?

  • Comment number 17.

    It is wrong to say a lib-lab coalition would be one of losers - between them they had more than 15m votes against less than 11m tories.
    A lib-con coalition would have more if they were agreed on a majority of items, but this doesn't seem to be the case: libs & labs have much more they agree on.

  • Comment number 18.

    I voted Lib-Dem because I believe that the Lib-Dem focus is the same as mine. Due to our somewhat imabalanced electoral system, we did not gain a voice consonant with our vote, hopefully these talks will redress this, and the Lib-dems will have a loud voice in Government.

  • Comment number 19.

    Deals? How undemocratic is this whole fiasco - we the public have no say in what "Mr Democracy" Clegg is up to! What a hypocrite!

    A new election, and another, until one of these parties convinces us that they deserve a majority!

  • Comment number 20.

    Yes it is more important to get a good deal than a quick deal. After all if we are to have electoral reform then this kind of horse trading will happen at every election and the markets will get used to it.

  • Comment number 21.

    A Tory-LibDem coalition sounds to me like the best and most stable option. A Lib-Lab pact would still be a minority Govt, and a rainbow Lib-Lab/SNP etc. coalition would be just too unstable and would make massive concessions to very minority groups.

  • Comment number 22.

    Being athiest I don't make a habit of praying but I'm praying to any available higher entity that DC & NC thrash out a solid agreement to take the UK forward.
    I think DC should give the UK, and the LDs, a referendum on Electoral reform . It won't hurt !
    In return, new trident goes ahead.( Yes its expensive but I think we still need it - you don't get rid of your intruder alarm just because you haven't been burgled!)

    May the Gods forbid another LibLab disaster !!

  • Comment number 23.

    The right deal is essential and it will be a measure of the integrity of all parties concerned if they make the right decisions for the country and not just for their own political ends. Fiscally we are up the creek anyway and no-one will be surprised regarding the severity of the cuts that are to come. We need electoral reform without fail but Labour are a busted flush with no credibilty and a promise from Gordon Brown on anything counts for Jack. We know this. There will never be a better opportunity to sort this country out and I personally feel that we need new blood in Government to achieve it. It should not be squandered because of pressure either from the media or the City-Boys who have largely contributed to the current situation.

  • Comment number 24.

    If Clegg gets in to bed with the Tories, then is party is doomed.

  • Comment number 25.

    Of course it is more important to get the right deal, the existing government contines until a new one is formed so there is hardly anarchy. Looking at the voting figures of 36% and 29% respectively neither Tories nor Labour come anywhere near a mandate to govern alone; therefore the will of the people is that government consist of 2 or more parties.

    Given that Liberals and Labour share a progressive agenda for social justice there is a clear mandate (52% in total) for such an alliance, if the price of such an alliance is Browns resignation then so be it. We owe Brown an enormous debt of gratitude for his handling of the financial crisis, but as Churchill found after WWII yesterday's greatness is no guarantee of the right to govern tomorrow.

    Given the history and ideology of the parties it is very difficult to see any basis for a constructive Liberal-Tory alliance.

  • Comment number 26.

    The pressure to speed things up is coming mainly from the media & the markets.

    The media don't matter & the markets will bounce back when a coherent deal is announced.

    So they should take their time & get it right, so that we can proceed smoothly with the economic reforms we so urgently need.

  • Comment number 27.

    This shows the fundamental problem with PR and the hung parliaments that would result from it.
    You get government paralysis.
    No party would be able to govern without having first bribed smaller parties representing minority interests (regional/ethnic/extremist) with preferential treatment at the expense of the majority.

  • Comment number 28.

    The Tories and Lib Dem's are too opposite. It wouldn't work. Brown's the biggest problem in a Lib/Lab pact perhaps he should stand aside and let someone else have a go.
    One good thing about not having a Tory majority is it seems to have scuppered their plans to bring back blood sports.
    Although hardly mentioned in the election, Cameron would have brought it back despite 75% of the country being against it. Tally Ho

  • Comment number 29.

    No deal at all thanks.

    We voted for a hung parliament because we want to see MPs working hard - rushing every time they hear the division bell. Not running roughshod over us with an overall majority, yet again.

  • Comment number 30.

    We the citizens of the UK require all MPs, irrespective of party, to put the interests of the entire United Kingdom first. We demand that any who do not feel able to do this resign at once.

    The Conservatives have won the election. Stop pussyfooting around and get on with doing the job which you have been hired to do. Strike a deal, be it a full alliance or an agreement to at least think about each issue on its merits rather than through the blinkers of party dogma, and get on with it.

    We have had enough of party shenanigans. Get on with the job you've been hired to do or get out.

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't see that the Lib Dems can hold the Tories and effectively the country to ransom over electoral reform. Clearing up Labours mess has to be first and foremost.
    If there is a change in the electoral system (which should only be PR proper), a clause should be that whoever gets the largest vote governs. Most elections under that systems will result in a hung parliament but there should be no deal making.
    The electorate have the right to choose who governs and our voice should be the one and only.
    Brown said he wanted what was in the national interest. Him still governing is not that and it isn't what the voters wanted.

  • Comment number 32.

    Given the current situation we do need to get the right deal but quickly.

    However, I think it best that the Lib-Dems leave the Conservatives to run a minority government supporting them on issues where they have common national interests but still retaining their independence.

    The Conservatives do not support a fairer voting system but prefer one that gives them advantage. I suspect this philosophy will permeate all their thinking and that many of the measures they use and the way they use them will be deeply unpopular particularly amongst the poor and vulnerable.Their rich supporters would be relatively unaffected.Unless the Conservatives are very careful I can see another "Winter Of Discontent" situation developing.The lesson of Greece needs to be learnt if we are to avoid riots in our streets.

    If it does all go haywire, an independent Lib-Dem party will be in a stronger position because the Conservatives will have been discredited by their own policies and actions.

    With tweaks to their own policies particularly on defence and immigration the Lib-Dems would be able to present a stronger case to the public when the next election comes.

  • Comment number 33.

    The right deal ....

    This may be the only chance we have to transform the electoral system in the UK into something that provides for longer term stability and fairer representation.

    If Clegg doesn't hold out for this then he has thrown away the chance of a generation. We'll just end up with 15 months of mediocre management 'till people are tired, another election resulting perhaps in a majority government and return to the same old politics.

    It's time for government to be brought into the 21st century - with a representation of the whole not just a numerical 'majority'. Only then will we see grown up government with achievement in mind - not just gain-saying and childish squabbles.

  • Comment number 34.

    Either a deal, or 5 more years of shambles. The country is in a mess and needs a strong, competent government. Cameron and Clegg, do something!!

  • Comment number 35.

    MPs are supposed to represent their constituents first and foremost.

    They should not be forming pacts behind closed doors so that they can all renege on their manifesto promises.

    Less talking and more listening please.

  • Comment number 36.

    Electoral reform is so fundamental to our democracy people must have a direct say in how it is done. The current system is patently unfair. Politicians saying it is not a key issue and stating which system they think is right only reinforces the view that they are arrogant and self serving.
    If there arguments are strong ... they should not fear a referendum.

  • Comment number 37.

    Quote from Stephen
    "Enough of this deal making. Re-run the election!

    Tory voters voted for Tory policies, not LibDem ones.

    Tory voters get "tory Lite" government - and absolutely NOONE gets who they voted for. This coalition has no mandate to govern."

    Re-run the election - why? What makes you think the result will be different? Tory voters may have voted for tory policies, but they still got less than 40% of the votes. The liberals and labour, the traditionally liberal parties to the left, polled over 50% of the votes between them - the fact is that the majority of voters voted for that kind of agenda (anti tory), and if we had a fair proportional system that would also be represented in the seats. There is a right wing advantage to the fact that the right wing vote is not split between 2 parties (an advantage that would matter less under a PR system, where it would be 50% or more votes for a party or coalition to govern).

    I dont think we need another election - the political temperature has been taken and the people have spoken. What would we do when we got another hung parliament - run the election again and again until voters are bored into changing their political views?

  • Comment number 38.

    It would be foolhardy to rush the negotiations and those that are urging a quick result know it. Do they perhaps wish to see the two sides fall flat on their faces due to lack of thought in the process?

    'Quick' and 'rushed' is a McDonalds meal or instant custard, not how to run a country

    There has to be a compromise for the betterment of the entire population and the economy so those with their heads up their backsides about sticking to the policies for the sake of it should realise it's not all about them. We are all in this together.

    The two candidates are the best their respective parties can offer. Let's let them do their jobs shall we.

  • Comment number 39.

    No no no, Darling is wrong to insist on a deal today.. that goes against his bosses words on friday anyway, Brown said to take their time and get it right. I agree. If they rush this it goes wrong and we end up with GB as pm for a whole lot longer. Better to stay a steady hand and take their time if it is working out that way rather than have a rushed deal that the Lib Dems are not happy signing up to, and then running into the open arms of Brown or maybe even Darling. The fact that Darling spoke out and put the money markets ahead of democracy means he is getting itchy feet or he is eying up the no10 job for himself.

  • Comment number 40.

    I agree with the majority, better to have no deal.

    I suggest we keep Labour in for another month to give time for PR constituencies to be drawn up and a new election run on those rules. In the meantime Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg could resign as leaders of their respective parties. We don't trust them any longer. They have done nothing about the MP expenses problem that still pervades our political system.
    For the sake of us all and our economy no more fudge decisions.

  • Comment number 41.

    If the issue with first past the post is that those who did not vote for the winning party are effectively disenfranchised, the deal now should really be between the conservatives and labour (55% of the electorate). And just imagine if Nick Clegg brokered that (78% of the electorate)! That would effectively let us try PR immediately.

  • Comment number 42.

    7. slickmoon wrote:
    "More importantly, why are these talks being held in secret? Do the people not have a right even to know the details of an discussion about our future?"

    Couldn't agree more. All through the campaign the parties talked about MP's being more "transparent" and "accountable to the electorate". This idea of "new politics" ended at 6am on the day after the election. Once again they have hoodwinked a gullible electorate.

  • Comment number 43.

    There needs to be the right deal but there also needs to be a time limit on how long negotiations can continue.

    Personally, I can't see how the Conservatives and Liberals can create a coalition/alliance as their ideology is so far apart. If they do, and the Liberal Democrats don't secure a referendum on PR, then the Liberal Democrats have sent themselves to the political wilderness as they will be seen as hypocrites by their own supporters.

    I would much prefer a progressive alliance between the Liberal Democrats and Labour with the smaller nationalist parties making up the balance.

  • Comment number 44.

    For the Lib-Dems there cannot be a deal with the Tories which does not contain a clear committment to a referendum on PR, which if successful leads to the next election being held under PR rules. The Lib-Dem leadership know that their party will accept nothing less.
    The Tory leadership must know they cannot make a deal with the Lib-Dems otherwise. They also know that the Tory party are opposed to PR and are hostile to a coalition with anyone(they still believe they are the natural party of government), being under the impression they had a clear win on Thursday night.

  • Comment number 45.

    My view is that the Body Politic should embrace a slightly humbler stance given the wishes of the British Electorate. There is a danger of this current situation descending into a squalid inter-party, tribal squabble that does not serve the nation. The phrase "National Interest" is being used but to my ear it seems glib and throw-away. Underlying are issues that now are being addressed but could well be dealt with later. "Steady the Buffs". We, the British people, have NOT been well served by our politicians latterly and t'is my view they would do well to take a searching and fearless moral inventory. Then do what is right for the people - and do it quickly...

  • Comment number 46.

    I reckon we LibDems could compromise if we were given the prospect of a whipped vote on an AV+ referendum. AV+ doesn't really adversely affect the Tories, it maintains the constituency link and it gives the LibDems a good step towards the proportionality that we want, even if it's not STV or PR.

    I would be prepared to compromise on every other policy areas if we could get a cast-iron AV+ referendum promise. Please - the people want to choose!

  • Comment number 47.

    Mr. Clegg. Due to the vagaries of our present electoral system, you now carry the hopes and aspirations of the 52% that voted for left of centre policies. Please do not betray us by agreeing to support right wing policies, voted for by only 1 in 3.
    Don't be bullied by those who say it's for the national good - that is just short-termism. And don't compromise your principles for a small, short-lived taste of power - you know you'll be shafted by them one day!
    Stand by your principles.

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm fairly sure that a lot of Liberal Democrat voters are a mixed bunch, but a huge portion of their followers are ex-Labour voters, and some of which chose to vote in this election for Liberal Democrat because although they look for a change, they don't want so far a radical change as to have to adopt Conservative policies.
    Surely, Nick Clegg has to do a deal with Labour. How can he deal with a Conservative Government who are simply in a different world than the Lib-dems? My opinion would be to try and deal with Labour, and include in that deal an agreement for Gordon Brown to step down and be replaced.
    I am a Labour supporter, yet I didn't vote Labour because I couldn't face the prospect of seeing Gordon Brown still in power. As for the Tories, please stop saying that the results of this election shows that it is a rejection of Labour, it wasn't. It certainly wasn't a mandate for Conservative Government, else the Tories would be sitting in the Cabinet room now.
    There must be a resolve for this soon. I'm fairly certain that if Labour had a different leader, and we had a re-run of the election, Labour would likely win it or at least regain many of the lost seats. However, a Rainbow alliance with Labour as the main party would at least be able to provide a platform for a referendum on the voting system, which would then give us a re-run that actually shows who we support.

  • Comment number 49.

    As a LibDem activist I'm against any agreement that doesnt include a fair voting system. This is important for several reasons we need a stable government that is supported by the MAJORITY of the electorate.
    Stable means it can plan long term rather than the Lab-Con seesaw. Where the Tories wreck services and Labour wreck the balance of payments each time they are elected.

    As the Tories only got 37% of the votes by no streach of the imagination have they won.
    But add in the LibDems 23% and you get a government supported by 37% + 23% = 60% of the electorate. Hopefully we can also stop the Tories bringing in any loony policys like a return to fox hunting or tax breaks for the rich.

  • Comment number 50.

    Either way it is grubby backroom politics. Shady deals and selling oneself to the highest bidder is the result of hung parliaments and proportional representation.

    This leads to weak government and undemocratic secrets.I trust the Liberals, Champions of the voter and transparent government will be publishing ALL details, minutes, notes of ALL discussions in order for us, the voter, who they say wants open government can see what we are getting?

  • Comment number 51.

    Would it be more important to have these discussions in public rather than behind closed doors?
    Politicians say that they want the public to be involved in government...then they have a great opportunity for it all to be out in the open...after all they are not discussing state secrets are they!
    I fear that this just shows that any real decisions, whether we like it or not, will be conducted as usual with disregard to the voters.
    The voters have dutifully 'turned out' to 'legitimize' the voting....but now it has nothing to do with us...until the next election when would you all please do the same.
    What an opportunity we are back to much of the same, leave the deal making to the 'professionals' change there then!

  • Comment number 52.

    On a lighter note try this one at home: Which party leader is which?

    Capricorn - Pays attention to detail, hardworking, stubborn, likes tried and tested methods

    Libra - Takes a long to time to decide, weighs up every angle, needs balance in life, hates to be alone

    Aquarius - Loyal, good 'ideas' person, doesn't wholly think through the results of those ideas, doesn't pay too much attention to detail

    No cheating.

  • Comment number 53.

    At 10:09am on 10 May 2010, stephen wrote:
    "Enough of this deal making. Re-run the election!
    Tory voters voted for Tory policies, not LibDem ones.
    Tory voters get "tory Lite" government - and absolutely NOONE gets who they voted for. This coalition has no mandate to govern."

    Personally, this is exactly what I wanted, so at least 1 person is happy. I like the Lib Dem social policies and the Tory financial ones and would haev split my vote between the two if it was possible.

    However if we end up with Tory social policies and Lib Dem financial ones, I may retract that statement.

    As to the original question, they should take their time to make sure they reach the right deal, this is not something to be rushed

  • Comment number 54.

    It strikes me that if the Tories and Lib Dems get this right, they can destroy Labour once and for all and consign them to the wilderness.

    If they can put together a deal that works for both sides and holds the coalition together for 2-3 years at least and if we assume that between them they'll bang economic heads together (Please Cameron/Osbourne, at least listen to Cable, he's got some good ideas, they can use the time to completely redraw the political map. Changes to boundaries to make constituency size fairer (thus reducing the number of Labour guaranteed seats) and further strategic reduction in the number of MPs, plus further progress towards devolution for Scotland and Wales, and within 3 years Labour wouldn't be able to win an egg and spoon race let alone an election.

    If they get it right, we will continue with essentially a two party system, labour will be also rans, and they can then happily introduce PR in some form or another in the full knowledge that between them they'll hold all the cards in any future government.


  • Comment number 55.

    Cameron and Clegg have shown real restraint and class over the election results whilst Brown has let himself and his party down by hanging on in Number 10.
    Brown should have resigned immediately and because he hasn't, shown himself to be lacking in substance and any sense of fair play.
    Does he think that he really deserves to be in number 10?
    He is a buffoon and a unelected one at that!

  • Comment number 56.

    More important to whom?

    For the Conservatives a swift deal is what is important.

    For the Lib Dem leadership a swift deal slightly shades it.

    For the Lib Dem voters and party members it is the right deal that matters.

  • Comment number 57.

    History has shown that coalitions in UK are failures, excluding during WWII, but even then there was much that failed and was bad/wrong.

    Why is it that we are spending so much time and effort in trying to achieve a set of circumstances/conditions that most know and expect to fail at some point.

    Its like knowingly building a poor quality bridge that will basically fail and fall causing unnecessary damage.

    If this country had a proportional representation electoral system, then a coalition would be justified and the norm. The reality is that our electoral /governance system is NOT designed for coalition government and the specific rights of electors to choose a government are basically being trod into the ground with political irrelevence and indifference.

    This election was supposed to be about the electorate doing a deal with a political party, NOT about political partys doing SECRET deals with each other and then basically dictating that deal to UK voters.

  • Comment number 58.

    It has to be the right deal or no deal at all. Clegg must not back down over getting some form of PR. If the tories won't do it he must turn to Labour. If he fails, his party is dead and millions of Britons will remain effectively disenfranchised as their votes count for nothing.

  • Comment number 59.

    Of course any deal must be right for this country in the long term.

    I do have a major issue with PR being best for the long term interests of this country.

    Although all political systems have faults, PR allows minority political parties to impose some of their views on everyone. A PR government could end up being a non-government as it will be a government of compromises rather than action. This may work in benign economy where not a lot happens but it cannot work in a country that wants to be a world leader.

    Historically, the best governments that this country has had - whether Labour or Tory - always seem to happen where there is a strong opposition. Problems seem to start to happen where there is a land slide government in power.

    It seems to me that to attempt to get the best of all worlds - and I admit it will not be perfect - is to:

    - reduce the total number of constituent MPs to 301

    - ensure that each constuency has, as close as possible, the same number of registered voters.

    - ensure that MPs in those countries within the UK that have their own separate parliaments or assemblies are not allowed to vote where only English matters are under discussion.

    - Allow an additional 100 Representation MPs where political parties putting up candidates in more than 250 of the 301 constituencies and winning more than 5% of the total votes are allowed a proportionate number of Representation MPs in the Commons.

    Any change to the voting system MUST go to the public an a referendum. The choices must be -

    - First past the post
    - Full PR
    - A combination of the two as suggested above.

  • Comment number 60.

    England + Conservatives - Wales + Scotland + LibDems - Lab = USSR.
    Oh, come on, it makes about as much sense as some of the other comments on this forum...

  • Comment number 61.

    The promise of a referendum is worthless.

    Voters may perceive it as a self-centred attempt by the Lib-Dems to improve their position during a period of national crisis and vote against PR.

    The scope of the referendum and its implementation would be controlled by the Conservatives and the form of PR put to the public would be their choice.

    The Conservatives could simple call an election just before or immediately after the referendum and not have to implement anything.

    Remaining independent is the best course of action.

  • Comment number 62.

    My fear is that the Lib Dem leaders will be seduced by offers of sweeteners, like cabinet posts, and take their eyes of the ball as far as the more important matters of blocking Osbourne's slash and burn policies and electoral reform are concerned. The answers to these important questions are simply yes or no, and should not be taking so long to elucidate.

    The Tory tactics may well be to persuade the Lib Dems to keep a Tory government in power long enough for Lord Ashcroft's millions and the right wing tabloids to prepare the ground for a snap election. The Tory leaders know that they will need an absolute majority to ensure that their wealthy backers do not have to pay an appropriately large share of the cost of repairing the economy. They will not be satisfied by less.

  • Comment number 63.

    The country is in a mess and needs strong government now.
    There is little point in bargaining over their differences for party interests.
    The Tories and Lib Dems need to concentrate on policies they agree on or where they are close and can make compromises, amd form a strong team.

    In the short term, issues such as Europe and PR are simply distractions.

  • Comment number 64.

    I don't see why everyone is getting so upset about the lack of media coverage of these discussions. We put our trust in these people by voting for them and now we should let them get on with the job. What's undemocratic about that? This is a perfect opportunity for everyone to gain some perspective on politics in this country.

  • Comment number 65.

    the deal that the Tories and LD's could be onje of the most significant deals of the past 100 years. Economic Crisis, Environmental Crisis looming. We need to make sure that Government is fully supported and not run by the press hanging on to wind up the strategies that may be generated. We as a country have a massive commitment to make in terms of the Environemnt. This will upset people. We need to get use to using public transport more, insulating our homes, growing food, being positive the experinces this will bring to us all. Our Government and councils are central to this change process. So when fuel tax and flying taxes go up we have to understand the reasons. The Lib Dem agenda will fit in well with this and make our country better

  • Comment number 66.

    Deal or no deal

    Let Noel Edmonds sort it he has done this thing 100s of times

  • Comment number 67.

    Despite what my cynical side says, I would love Cameron and Clegg to come out at the end of today and say 'look, we've got major differences in our parties and the politics but ultimately we will put them aside for the greater good'.

    I know this will instantly be sneered at and shot down by people on this board, and your probably right. But imagine if they did this - the power of good they could do for the image of politics in the eyes of a downbeat UK.

    My point - this situation born from uncertainty could herald a turning in politics to do a force of good. I just hope they don't squander it.

  • Comment number 68.

    I can't believe people are still harping on about wanting PR. Don't they understand that they'll never be able to vote for a party based on their policies because the likelihood is that all we'd get is a coalition government with watered down policies from each of the parties?

    FPTP is far from perfect, but it generally provides a majority government that has a clear mandate.

  • Comment number 69.

    A referendum on voting systems would enable all parties to air their preferences and then we 'the people' can decide in a democratic way how we wish to select 'our' representatives.

    Differences over Europe and how we should be associated with it can be put off the agenda until we solve the more immediate economic crisis. Staus quo on this aspect of politics!

    Focus be on the economy must be the priority.

  • Comment number 70.

    Independence for a Conservative England free of Scotts, Welsh & Irish nationalist moaning. I no longer consider myself to be a citizen of the so called United Kingdom. I'm English and proud of it. I don't want to be ruled by a Government that is dependent on 'foreign' Scots & Welsh MP's elected via constituencies that give Labour a built in advantage. I'd rather have another election than end up with a fudge.

  • Comment number 71.

    All this activity is good news for the Labour Party. They are not to be given access to the boy Clegg unless Gordon is made to go. Like the rest of us they know that any LibDim deal is fragile and may end in disagreement over PR. Clegg will have his moment in the sun as Home Secretary and he and his party will soon be flushed by the electorate. After this unprincipled episode the LibDems will not be seen as an alternative choice to Tories or to Labour but as a distraction. Several HYS have predicted the demise of LibDim support in Scotland and the Labour Party will gain most benefit from the extra votes. Amazingly Desperate Dave Cameron is volunteering to help clear up Gordon's mess. The necessary cuts will be so severe that the electorate won't thank him.

    Either way, come the next Labour Party Conference Gordon will get sent to Siberia.

  • Comment number 72.

    There can be no deal based upon the ideals of the LibDems or the Tories.Compromise on a hodge podge to form a majority is one thing but both Clegg and Cameron cannot agree on the issues which clearly divide the mainstay of respective political parties and trouble would soon rear its ugly head.The "crisis" the media talk about-or should I say "Murdoch"promotes is a big lie. There is no crisis as such bar the election didnt give anyone a clear mandate which makes clear what the people wanted-a compromise of all three parties. To Brown's credit he has along with his Chancellor held everything together whether or not you agree with the policies. Any gung-ho approach which the Tories seem to favour has not been fully endorsed and neither has Labours.The Liberals are of course now in the driving seat but a deal with anyone is full of holes so its best if all three leaders get round the table.agree on the way forward and just get it through the commons.Its immaterial who out if the three will be PM,it is only valid until the country is more sure footed. A new election can then be held with some form of PR which despite the Tory fears would be fair and benefit all parties. You can't buck the market on PR-most countries in Europe have to work out policy based on PR-so all we are doing is catching up.
    If a deal between Clegg and Cameron happens I fear for the very existance of both parties and that might de-stablise the entire political system forever.

  • Comment number 73.

    There needs to be a deal, and they have to get it right. Rushing in to something too quickly could be disastrous. The Conservatives really do need to give some ground on electoral reform; the election results really show what an injustice FPTP is, and refusing to budge on the issue raises accusations that they are more concerned about self-interest than democracy. Similarly, the Liberal Democrats have to be prepared to drop any chance of some of their less popular policies.

    It's just possible that the result of this is an adult parliament that has to debate policy and decide on merit, instead of slinging insults on a party political basis. I'm not hopeful.

  • Comment number 74.

    I think we shold go back to the Polls! I do not think the Lib Dems should get into bed with Conservatives and I for one will never vote for them again if they do.
    At the end of the day, they are all public school boys, Lets have a leader who knows what it is like not to have all the advantages of the rich so they would have a real understanding of the majority of the British public people.

  • Comment number 75.

    Last week I voted Libdem for the centralist progressive government that Mr Clegg promised. Today it appears that I have been misled. I have emails from my local libdem MP promising that Mr Clegg will have meaningful talks with Labour if there is a hung parliament. Mr Clegg is turning turned his back on the millions of voters, who like me voted tactically to stop Cameron getting power.

    If Today Mr Clegg is to stand beside Cameron with my vote in his back pocket, I and the millions of similar voters WILL TURN OUR BACKS ON LIBDEMS FOR EVER

  • Comment number 76.

    In all the powerful economies around the world they take their time over coalitions to make them work.

    The parties should not be held to ransom by cowardly markets or media who don't give a damn about the country but just want a good story.

    We have had 31 years of MPs doing what ever they liked because no one could stop them.

    It is time we had control, not them. So, take time and make sure we get a say in how this all works next time!

  • Comment number 77.

    Justice delayed is justice denied. These people already know what they want. It shouldn't take them long to reach a truce. Find a like mind and move on. It is easier to manipulate things when there are delays. So, quit the delays and form a government now.

  • Comment number 78.

    Centre Left parties won this election decisively with 5 parties getting 54.7% of the popular vote.
    Centre right parties only got 42% of the popular vote over 6 parties.
    The discredited FPTP system has disenfrachised the majority of the electorate yet again, which if the FPTP system was reformed [a very big "IF"] would consign the centre right parties to the dustbin for posterity, primarily the Tories.
    If Clegg enters into an alliance with the Tories it will be one spawned in hell and a plague on both their houses. Clegg will take the Lib Dems to the Centre Right at his and that Party's peril!!!!!
    Get real Mr Clegg and make the Centre Left collectively a pain in the Centre Rights policies.

  • Comment number 79.

    No deals, none at all.

    Labour lost, browns fault, tories won, let 'call me dave' into No 10.

    Run the country with a minority government for 6 months, then have another election.

    If it's a hung parliment again, THEN do a deal.

    But put all the details of any deal to the public BEFORE the next election.

  • Comment number 80.

    Assuming the 5 Sein Fein MP's do not take their seats, David Cameron needs the support of 323 MP's to form a majority. He has 306 Conservative seats and should be able to count on 8 (possibly 9) Unionist MP's to support him. With the support of the 6 Scottish and 3 Welsh nationalist MP's he could form a majority government, without entering into a difficult coalition with the Liberals. In my view, such a government would result in greater devolution of power to the four individual countries of the UK, making everybody happier and better off.

  • Comment number 81.

    Get the right deal, but I believe the joining of forces of these two parties will stop a oligarchy that has been present for the last half century. Maybe now the smaller, emerging parties will have a chance to grow and shine.

  • Comment number 82.

    At 10:09am on 10 May 2010, stephen wrote:
    Enough of this deal making. Re-run the election!

    Tory voters voted for Tory policies, not LibDem ones.

    Tory voters get "tory Lite" government - and absolutely NOONE gets who they voted for. This coalition has no mandate to govern.


    The problem is with a very large majority of voters in the UK is that they do not vote for policies - they vote for a party because they have always voted for that party. Histrionics and voter apathy

    Take somewhere like Barnsley for example. Always been Labour, never will be anything else. They had their majority cut - but by the lib dems - conservatives hardly got any votes. Conservatives will never get any votes because Maggie closed all the coal mines. So even if the Tories have the most appropriate policies for the people who live there, they would still never get votes there.

    How many times have you heard people say "I've always voted for Labour - I always will vote Labour". If that is the attitude then it would be better for these people not to vote at all.

    Policies NOW are what matter - not what happened 10, 20, 30 40...... years ago.

  • Comment number 83.

    I hope that the Con/Lib coaltion works. I would hate to see Labour get in again as I do not belive they are good for the country and that is not just because of Brown. We need a change. It would seem very wrong to my mind to have some sort of Labour coalition with the biggest losing parties whereas even though the Conservatives did not win they were only 20 seats away and have the most seats and largest percentage of the vote. That cannot be ignored as that would be plain wrong to my mind. I dearly hope they sort it out even if that did mean going down a route of PR. And remember, the constituency boundaries can always be changed again just like Labour did to benefit themselves and hinder others. Does anyone know what the result of the election would have been if the boundaries had not changed? The constituency sizes should be as equal as possible otherwise it sounds like something that Saddam would have done!!!

  • Comment number 84.

    Of course its important to get it right.

    They have to sort out the banks first and foremost before the economy can be addressed. It doesn't matter how fast the ship (economy) sails out the harbour... if it still has a hole in it (banks) then it will eventually sink.

  • Comment number 85.

    If the government could get together and run the country, as in war time, with a coalition of all MPs, then they could get on with running this country.
    For the future I think PR is the only way.

  • Comment number 86.

    If 'they' don't do a deal quickly, the repercussions on our financial markets could be an absolute disaster. The problem is that the Lberal (Democrat) Party always was amazingly good at prevaricating its way out of making decisions of any sort, which is why they must never again hold sway in Westminster. Tea & biscuits anyone?

  • Comment number 87.

    As a labour supporter I welcome the Conservative-Liberal coalition. It will last no more than eighteen months and the result will be that both parties will be seen as unelectable. Together they will prove their inability to govern.

  • Comment number 88.

    Everyone agrees that some stability is needed whatever the complexion of the next Government. Many people seem to assume that a Con/Lib Dem arrangement will be more stable than a Lab/Lib Dem/Smaller Parties arrangement because fewer parties are involved. However there is another way of looking at it. Labour has more common ground in policy terms with their potential partners than the Tories and the Lib Dems and this could ensure greater stability not less. Putting party labels to one side and concentrating on policies there are,broadly speaking,two political strands operating; left and right. The election has produced a majority of votes (by a long way)and seats (by not so much!)in favour of left leaning political solutions to our problems. A clear majority of voters have rejected the right wing alternative. A progressive left of centre government would be a much more accurate reflection of the way the voters voted than the deal currently being stitched up by Cameron and Clegg.

  • Comment number 89.

    Millions of us voted for a change in government, and if it means the Conservatives and Lib Dems working together, then so be it. The country has decided that they don't want Labour, and for Labour MPs to say that other parties think the same way as them, and not the Conservatives is absolute rot. If the country had wanted Labour to stay in power, they would have voted for them. Why can't they get the message? Members of my family support four different parties, and the only member who was Labour has switched to Conservative. I hope that Cameron and Clegg can come to a stable agreement that will bring change, and not get bogged down to much with the demands of their party activists.

  • Comment number 90.

    "Tory voters get "tory Lite" government - and absolutely NOONE gets who they voted for. This coalition has no mandate to govern."

    A coalition between the LibDems and the Conservatives would represent a compromise between the views of %60 of the electorate. Admittedly, "compromise" is the key word, but this is as definitive a mandate as any government has had in recent years.

    Hold strong for electoral reform, Nick!

  • Comment number 91.

    Why aren't people just patient? The markets look remarkably calm this morning for a country which is in "political ruins"... I voted Conservative and I respect Clegg for how he's dealing with this. He's not rushing for electoral reform or nothing; not right now anyway. There are major issues to deal with for the good of the country and avoiding a Greece-style crisis should be a national, and hence intrapartisan, priority.

  • Comment number 92.

    27. At 10:22am on 10 May 2010, whowell wrote:

    This shows the fundamental problem with PR and the hung parliaments that would result from it.
    You get government paralysis.
    No party would be able to govern without having first bribed smaller parties representing minority interests (regional/ethnic/extremist) with preferential treatment at the expense of the majority.

    This shows the fundamental strength of PR, Government continues more or less as normal, the exisying ministers run things while a party that failed to get the majority of the people to support its policies (36%) has discussions with a party that has support of nearly quarter (23.%) of the people to decide which of its policies need to be moderated in order to turn it into a government with the support of a majority of the People(59%)

  • Comment number 93.

    If there's going to be a coalition, then it needs to be the 'right deal', even if it takes a while longer, otherwise if it breaks down, there will be another set of chaos later.

    If there's just going to be a pact to allow a minority government, then it's less important, as details on specifics can be discussed later.

    I hope the Conservatives and LibDems can come to an agreement, as they're the best two parties for taking the country forward, and they have a lot in common, and both have a lot of differences with the Labour government of the past decade.

    Hopefully, working together we can get the best of both parties.

    (LibDems may have more in common with a different type of 'Labour' government, but not with the one we've had).

    Proportional Representation may be a sticking point, but Labour are just as much against it as the Conservatives, despite Gordon's apparent quick change of view ('please side with us, I'll promise anything as long as I can keep my comfy job'). However, I think the Conservatives are strongly in favour of some sort of Electoral Reform.

  • Comment number 94.

    I feel Clegg needs to be very careful what he agrees to and who he aligns the LibDems with. He could lose all credibility and alienate core voters if he gets it wrong. Better to let Tories try to govern and support/not support individual issues as they arise. We will probably end up with a quick election anyway. I am also inclined to agree with englandrise - if the Scots, Welsh and Irish can have their own Parliament why can't the English? and why should their MPs have the double benefit of sitting in 2 Parliaments? It's just wrong.

  • Comment number 95.

    Clegg and Cameron need to have a reality check. The electorate does not expect an agreement that is watertight and which will cover ever single contingency. However, what we do expect is that we have an operational government reflecting the fact Labour lost the election:16m people voted against Labour but looking at the satus quo (with Darling and Brown still in Downing street you would not think so). Every minute that there is no clear successor Government allows a party (and a prime minister) that has lost the mandate of the electorate to continue in Govermnent. This is unacceptable. Is the offer of a referendum on electoral reform but reserving the Conservatives' right to lobby against such reform really such a high cost to pay in order to remove Brown and Darling from Downing Street?.

  • Comment number 96.

    i am not happy? yes im'e a labour voter? it seem's a vote for the liberal's is a vote for a tory? with the daily mirror only backing labour?sky and murdoch backing mr cameron plus £12000000+ pounds it all seems a waste of time and money? plus nothing to help our debts? i feel proportional reprpresentation is the only fair way to vote for the country's goverment? % i will be very wary of any liberal from now on? and i definatly think there will be another election in less than 18 months? the differences between tory and liberals are to great?

  • Comment number 97.

    I'd like to pariamentary reform just as much, if not more than voting reform. The whole establishment is prehistoric and just isn't fit for purpose in this modern age.

    The way they debate is far too adversarial, rather than cooperative.
    Time to grow up, and enter into progressive partnerships that leaves party politics outside the chamber.

    How can they seriously export democracy to Afganistan, when there's been a serious failures of our own democratic system?

  • Comment number 98.

    i don't know why,but i have a very strong suspision here...i think we're all about to be stiched up...or is it just me...a deal lib dems ...another election...means no lib what were thay saying before about 2 parties..interesting ....back to good old i say...not happy unless we're being stiched up by somebody...AHH...HAPPY DAYS....

  • Comment number 99.

    The Lib-Dem's have a greater mandate than the Tories to govern.
    The country voted overwhelmingly in favour of centre-left policies.

    Labour+LibDem = 15million votes
    Tories = 10 million votes

    A Labour-Libdem coalition has more democratic justification.

    PR must be part of any deal; anything less and the Lib-Dems will have shown how poor they are at negotiating.

  • Comment number 100.

    There are many variations of proportional representation and many ways in which our electoral system could be reformed but little discussion about the options and what their pros and cons. What is the Lib Dem preferred system in detail?

    Any electoral reform it seems to me will also require wider constitutional reform and should therefore be subject to considered and open debate by all interested parties. It should not be decided on in a ad-hoc manner behind closed doors where the objective is to create a co-alition for a few years when the effects on our constitution will last for generations.


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