It appears that I was a bit hasty last night when I asserted that David Cameron will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Although the Conservatives did gain the largest number of votes in yesterday’s election, no party has an absolute majority. This means that Gordon Brown remains prime minister until a he resigns or is forced to resign by a no-confidence vote, or until a coalition claiming a majority is formed.
Reported losers include George Galloway, Jacqui Smith, Shahid Malik, and Nigel Farage.
The table below is adapted from data found at the BBC’s national results page, with all but two of the 650 constituencies confirmed (I left out parties that hold no seats and received less than 1% of the vote):
|UK Independence Party||0||0||3.1%|
|British National Party||0||0||1.9%|
|Scottish National Party||6||0||1.7%|
|Democratic Unionist Party||8||-1||0.6%|
|Social Democratic & Labour Party||3||0||0.4%|
As you can see, UKIP and the BNP together account for 5% of the total vote, yet they have no seats in Parliament. On the other hand, the Democratic Unionist Party holds eight seats with only 0.6% of the vote. Such are the vagaries of the British parliamentary electoral system.
This election result — with no clear majority — is known as a “hung parliament”. Gaia sends this succinct summary, taken from a comment on one of the British sites:
We actually have the best result. We have political heart attack (seizure). The voting system is out of date rubbish, the polling system was absolute garbage and we have 3 parties of rotten socialists so no wonder the voters can’t make their mind up.
If it takes a month to sort this crap out it’ll prove we can go a month without any Govt in this country. These 3 bunches of socialist scum have all got themselves in a massive public finance meltdown.
Let this political garbage go down the toilet together… they at least deserve that honour!
Below is a Scottish take on the election, from The Daily Record. Notice that the SNP, despite its nationalist ideology, vows not to work with the Tories. This conforms with the well-known fact that many of the most powerful Labour leaders (including “Broon”) are Scots:
– – – – – – – – –
Election 2010: Brown Hanging on as Salmond Says SNP Will Work With New Labour Government — But Not Cameron’s Conservatives
GORDON Brown was hanging on to power by the thinnest of threads today as his opponents conspired to bounce him out of power following an inconclusive General Election.
Tory leader David Cameron put pressure on the Prime Minister to concede defeat after the Tories won the largest share of the votes but fell well short of an overall majority.
But SNP leader Alex Salmond has revealed his party and Welsh Nationalists Plaid Cymru have accepted an offer from Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss possibilities for future government.
And he explicitly ruled out working with David Cameron’s Conservatives — even if they turned out to be the largest overall party in Westminster.
The Scottish First Minister said he and his Welsh counterpart had agreed to an offer from Mr Brown for discussions over a potential coalition government.
“Fate seems to have dealt us a mighty hand between ourselves and Plaid Cymru,” he said.
“As I understand it, on the projection we have at the present moment, certainly there would have to be some involvement of the SNP and Plaid Cymru, if you were to get and construct an alternative government scenario.
“So for that reason, I’m accepting the offer of the Prime Minister, on behalf of the SNP, and Plaid Cymru are accepting, to have the Civil Service back-up to have discussions to see what the possibilities are in terms of defending the interests of Scotland and Wales in this parliamentary situation.”
Everyone expects the next government to be short-lived, presiding over political chaos between now and the inevitable fiscal collapse of the UK.
We do indeed live in interesting times.
Hat tips: Gaia and Aeneas.