Fleet News

What now for UK Government?

Now what? That’s the question everyone is asking today as the election results reveal a hung parliament.

All three of the main parties suffered a bruised eye and a bloodied nose. Labour lost its majority and, with it, its clear mandate to govern. The Conservatives, while they won the most seats, failed to get a majority, which left the party without a clear mandate to take office.

On paper, the Liberal Democrats had a disaster. Despite opinion polls putting them in second place prior to the Election on around 28%, they will end on fewer seats than last time, with just a 1% improvement in their share of the vote at 23%. They stay firmly in third place on both counts.

However, they could still end up having the ultimate say in who becomes the next Government with possible places in the cabinet.

Both the Labour and Lib Dem leaders spoke of taking stock and deciding what would be best for the country. However, a coalition is looking less likely even if the two parties can agree on key policies. One of those is proportion representation, or PR.

However, the two parties combined would still leave them short of an overall majority.

Conservatives leader David Cameron, talking this afternoon, has also not ruled out electoral reform as he attempts to tee up his own deal with the Lib Dems. And that would result in a majority coalition.

Pundits reckon 2010 will be the last time we have a ‘first past the post’ style of voting. Even Neil Kinnock, the former Labour leader, conceded today that some form of PR, where the government is decided by the most votes, was now very likely.

Although Labour, according to the constitution, has around 12 days to determine whether it can find a way to retain its governance, expect a decision to happen much sooner.

If it’s a Labour-Lib Dem coalition, expect another Election within a 18 months due to the lack of stability of operting a minority coalition, but this time based on PR.

If the Conservatives link up with the Lib Dems, the next election could be more than two years away, but again based on PR.

Alternatively, the Conservatives could seek a deal with one of the minority parties but that is unlikely to give it the majority it needs to follow its manifesto pledges.

Either way, the next few days and weeks spell uncertainty at a time when strong Government is needed to tackle the national debt and ensure the country continues along the road to recovery.

Share of the vote/No of seats so far:
Conservative 36%/304
Labour 29%/258
Lib Dem 23%/57
Democratic Unionist Party 0.6%/8
Scottish National Party 1.7%/6
Sinn Fein 0.5%/4
Plaid Cymru 0.6%/3
Others 8.6%/6

Author: Stephen Briers, Fleet News editor

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  • rupertbear - 07/05/2010 14:22

    Stephen, Those people who voted for the Labour Party or for Mr Clegg/other minority parties have brought us to this point and now some of the most vulnerable people in the country and businesses will pay the price. The country is essentially bankrupt and with a deficit of trillions needs to take decisive action to reduce and eliminate it. Instead of taking the necessary medicine-abolishing quangos ,eliminating RDA,s,eliminating over 1.5 million unnecessary jobs in local authorities,eliminating fraud waste and mismanagement in Government procurement ,reducing the number of unnecessary NHS managers(up 225% since Tony Blair came to power)etc etc,a large number of people have buried their heads in the sand and wished the problem away. This is absolute folly because the result will be a falling pound(this has started already),higher food costs(the present sorry excuse for a Government has presided over 5000 farming bankrupcies a year and 100 suicides of farmers),higher import costs ,particularly of cars ,vans and light trucks and falling living standards for the majority of people still in work. There may be other consequences ,particularly if we are to bail out the truly bankrupt Greek economy and its largely ungrateful and unproductive citizenry who imagine that they can go on forever relying on European holidaymakers working until their 70,s whilst they retire at 50 and do as little work as possible . If the contagion spreads without clear leadership the markets will punish us with higher interest rates and the rating agencies may well impose a credit downgrade. This will make life harder for everyone other than currency speculators and businesses which have already elected to move themselves offshore for tax purposes. What is even worse is the fact that the unintended consequence of all of this is that we could once again end up with an unelected Prime Minister about whom very little will be known until we are lumbered with him for the next 4 years or until their is

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