Friday, 7 May 2010

Hung Parliament?

Stayed up and woke up to a Hung Parliament last night and today but what does that even mean?

In order for one party to have total control of Parliament, they must have more seats than all the other parties put together, an absolute majority (so that, for example, they could vote through any law they wanted without opposition).  The Conservatives have the most seats but not an absolute majority.  Therefore, no party has full power and things are very unclear.  Gordon Brown is still the Prime Minister but unless he can 'form a new government', by joining forces with other parties, he will resign and Cameron would become Prime Minister and attempt to form a new government.

For a party to have an absolute majority they need 326 seats and so far the leading party at the moment is the Tories with 298.  Labour only has 253 so both parties would need to make a coalition to get power and the Liberals look to be the most likely coalitioner, with 53 seats.  However, leader Nick Clegg has said he think the Conservatives have the right to try to govern since they have the most votes overall and looks unlikely to join Labour.  Even if he did, others would have to join with other parties as well to reach the 326 seats needed.  It all points towards Brown losing power, the Conservatives joining with like minded parties, for example the Northern Irish Democratic Union Party and then joining with the Libs to make an absolute majority.

It's possible that the Tories could try governing with a minority government (ie. more minority parties than the majority) but as the final counts come in, it seems more and more like we'll have a Prime Minister Cameron and a Tory Britain.