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UK General Election - Hung Parliament

posted by S@bre on - last edited - Viewed by 659 users

200px-Her_Majesty%27s_Government_Coat_ofn117405151623917_3191.jpgGordon Brown, Labour; Nick Clegg, Liberal; David Cameron, Conservative

Seats and percentage of vote
Majority required: 326
[list]
[*]Conservative and Unionist Party: 306; 36.1%
[*]Labour: 258; 29%
[*]Liberal Democrats: 57; 23%
[*]Democratic Unionist Party: 8; 0.6%
[*]Scottish National Party: 6; 1.7%
[*]Sinn Fein: 5; 0.6%
[*]Plaid Cymru: 3; 0.6%
[*]Social Democratic & Labour Party: 3; 0.4%
[*]Green: 1; 1%
[*]Alliance Party: 1; 0.1%
[*]UK Independence Party: 0; 3.1%
[*]British National Party: 0; 1.9%
[/list]

For all you jolly non-Brits, I'll set out some context as I go. We had our general election yesterday. The result that came back today was not decisive: we have a hung parliament, where no party commands an overall majority in the House of Commons. Vote-wise, the Conservative and Unionist Party (or Tory Party), lead by David Cameron, has come out on top, but is just under the majority. The incumbent Labour Party, with its rather unpopular PM Gordon Brown, took a heavy beating (several current and former secretaries of state have lost their seats) but still held on to enough seats to come in second. The Liberal Democrats, who have been out of government since David Lloyd George in the 1920s, failed to capitalise on an increase in support for leader Nick Clegg, to come in third, with far less support than predicted.

While such occurances are commonplace in other European countries, to have a hung parliament in a Westminister system is rare, the last one was thirty years ago. We don't generally do coalitions, the primary breaks from this rule being the wartime governments. Currently, both Tory and Labour are hoping to gain the Liberals for support, possibly even in coalition, though even then Labour still wouldn't have enough seats to command a majority. The Tory best bet is to win the Liberals and the Democratic Unionist Party, one of the sympathetic Irish unionist parties.

In other news, the Green Party (environmentalists) took their first seat, as did the Alliance Party (secular Irish party). Otherwise, the regional parties such as the Scottish Nationalist Party, Sinn Fein (Irish republicans) and Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalists) haven't lost or gained anything. The UK Independence Party (anti-European Union, whose leading MEP was involved in a plane crash yesterday) and the British National Party (fascists, though they'll deny it) haven't gained any seats.

And while this is going on, our economy is apparently rapidly going downhill again as a result of the instability.

Honestly, I'm rather hoping for a Tory/Liberal/DUP coalition, which would help prevent the stupid aspects of both parties asserting themselves in a government. I'd have preferred a situation where the Liberals had been able to displace the Labour party and take over as the shadow cabinet, putting Labour back to a third party - as Labour did to the Liberals in the 1920s - but alas the Liberals weren't able to do that. Having some Irish in a coalition would be nice simply because I love the Irish. Easily the best of the Celtic races.

Any thoughts from fellow UK voters, or observations from the many non-Brits in the world? Anyone else think that the BBC should let David Dimbleby finally go to sleep after 16 hours on live TV?

69 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I'm somehwat confident there'll be anopther election in six months to a year. The way we're seeing things it's more than likely that the Lib Dems and Tories will form a coalition of sorts because they can't go back on their remarks about Gordon Brown having no mandate to govern and it would be totally against the nature of their ideas on election reform despite Gordon Brown pretty much opffering a referendum on that very issue.

    A Tory/Lib Dem coalition would be far to unstable to get past any major issues in the House after the initial showboating of issues that Cameron brought up that they could agree on. I see another election following this one very shortly as coalition governments historically in Britain are very unstable.

    Any day of the week i'd take a strong government that can implement its policies over a coalition where we may see that very little will get done with the Lib Dems and Labour voting a lot of issues down. Maybe the changes the Tories introduce will be horrid, but we have enough resoures to boot them out if that's the case, i'd really hate to see a government that can do nothing for the people it's supposed to serve.

    Also, trust me, you don't want any Northern Irish MP's in a coalition. All our MP's from the major parties are malingers of the highest order and haven't done much actual work instead finding pretense after pretense for an excuse not to work together. Sinn Fein MP's won't even sit in the House of Commons as it's recognising British rule, though gladly take their pay packet from Westminster. Unionist MP's a lot of the time are horribly out of touch with the social situation in Northern Ireland and show staunch right-wing almost Bible Belt-esque policies (some proposed policies on homosexual rights by Unionist MP's have been appaling) others are Independents and smaller party members (SDLP, UUP) that really just don't have any leverage to get anything done

    Personally though I really don't want to see more of Brown, from the second he went in it just reminded me of John major desperately trying to hold on the 90's with not much faith left in his party. Like the Conservatives back then, Labour is stale and tired and I think the country really just needs some new blood at the helm. At the end of the day that's not even a whole pile between the aprites in terms of policy compared to what their was say 20 years ago when Labour was a Socialist party (until Tony Blair ripped clause 4 out to make his party more presentable to big business and those more centre inclined.)

    For the Americans out there, Gordon brown's the old guy and David Cameron's the younger guy with the really shiny face ;)

  • Anything to keep smarmy Cameron out of power. Hopefully Labour will join with Lib Dems and some minority parties.

  • Differ we may, I think we can all agree that this man ruled the election

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    Tor

    As coalition governments are the norm here, (and in many other European countries) I didn't really see what all the fuss was about. On BBC World Service they are saying that due to the more "adversarial" political style in the UK, coalitions generally don't work as well over there.

    I'm sure you could pull it off this time though, if your politicians all hold hands and promise to be nice!

    Incidentally, how did the Monster Raving Loony Party do this election?

  • @Tor said: Incidentally, how did the Monster Raving Loony Party do this election?

    No seats thank god.

    Look at this guy
    article-1273210848761-0976DEEB000005DC-7

    He made me rage at my telly when I saw him. Fist guy was far better

  • @Pinchpenny said: Anything to keep smarmy Cameron out of power. Hopefully Labour will join with Lib Dems and some minority parties.

    I can't stand Cameron (and surprisingly, neither did several of the Conservative candidates I've spoken with in this election. The reoccuring theme I got was "He's nice to speak to in person, but you come away, and later think 'Wait, what?' as you realise you've been duped by a spinmaster"), but I'm willing to put up with him if we get some of the betters amongst the Conservatives into cabinet. William Hague, Kenneth Clarke, etc, are decent (as decent as frontline politicians can get) people, who will help keep a grip on the slimely Cameron slug with some rubber gloves.

    A Liberal coalition with the Tories will also help restrain Cameron. Such a coalition would help stop the Tories acting stupidly (like giving tax breaks to the rich), and likewise prevent the Liberals doing anything idiotic. Plus, the chance of getting Vince Cable into the Chancery would be great - especially as it would be at the expense of clone-a-toff-bastard George Osbourne. Cameron in my mind is unfortunately best of three complete morons, I have absolutely no love for Brown (Labour has just run itself into the ground, at this point it just needs to go and watch the cricket like Major did in 1997), and I remain entirely unconvinced at Clegg's "We're new! (actually, we're 400 years old, but you've got collective short memories)" act.

    @Pinchpenny said:
    Also, trust me, you don't want any Northern Irish MP's in a coalition. All our MP's from the major parties are malingers of the highest order and haven't done much actual work instead finding pretense after pretense for an excuse not to work together. Sinn Fein MP's won't even sit in the House of Commons as it's recognising British rule, though gladly take their pay packet from Westminster. Unionist MP's a lot of the time are horribly out of touch with the social situation in Northern Ireland and show staunch right-wing almost Bible Belt-esque policies (some proposed policies on homosexual rights by Unionist MP's have been appaling) others are Independents and smaller party members (SDLP, UUP) that really just don't have any leverage to get anything done

    Ok, no Irish then. Unless they're not politicians and don't have paramilitary links. I just have a lot of respect for the average Irishman, and thought it might be nice to get someone other than Scots and English into government for a change.

    @Pinchpenny said: As coalition governments are the norm here, (and in many other European countries) I didn't really see what all the fuss was about. On BBC World Service they are saying that due to the more "adversarial" political style in the UK, coalitions generally don't work as well over there.

    I'm sure you could pull it off this time though, if your politicians all hold hands and promise to be nice!

    We could barely hold together a coalition government even while the Germans were bombing us into next week, let alone now. While a nice idea in principle, with cross-party consensus, it just won't hold up. There's too much conflict and not enough willpower. As JedExodus said, we'll be back at the polls well before the constitutional 5 years, even if we get a coalition government with LabLib or ToryLib.

    For anyone interested, George Galloway, the anti-war government-defying hero of peace to some, the corrupt terrorist-supporting socialist looney to others (very much a love or hate individual) has lost his seat in Parliament after moving to the constituency next door and then losing to Labour.

  • I kept meaning to do a topic on this, but kept putting it off...

    Anyway, My thoughts on the election: I'm very surprised at how badly the Lib Dems did, given their approval ratings. I guess they couldn't quite get over the "a vote for any party other than labour/conservative is a waste" sentiment, or maybe their problem lies with the fact support for them was widespread and not concentrated. If that was true, despite them having a high national vote percentage, they wouldn't win regionally in different areas, so hence wouldn't gain many seats (which i think they saw coming, hence their bid for electoral reform).

    As for a conservational democrat coalition, i just can't see it working. Cameron likely won't budge on much, and their policies are too different to work properly. A liblab coalition is unlikely to do much either, given that they won't have a majority.

    I also think it's unfair that Brown is still the PM, despite losing the election!

  • @Pinchpenny said: Anything to keep smarmy Cameron out of power. Hopefully Labour will join with Lib Dems and some minority parties.

    w000t *hopes so*

  • @S@bre said: For anyone interested, George Galloway, the anti-war government-defying hero of peace to some, the corrupt terrorist-supporting socialist looney to others (very much a love or hate individual) has lost his seat in Parliament after moving to the constituency next door and then losing to Labour.

    Good stuff, George Galloway is one of the most odious little pieces of crap i've ever had the misfortune to meet. After listening to Galloway talk for an hour it was horribly obvious that Mr Galloway is in politics for no other reason than money (and maybe the bullying as he seems to enjoy that) as he detailed to us just how much money he'd won from libel cases, how he was touring the country up and down doing talks, charging people for admission and presenting his radio show. No wonder he has one of the worst Commons attendance figures out there what with him being too busy with all his outside "interests"

    ...also he threatened to sue a student that time I met him :confused:

  • Statistically, to get a working majority, Labour would have to go into coalition with the entirety of the Liberals, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green and Alliance. That's six parties in total, that's just not going to hold together more than five minutes. Labour's situation just isn't one of strength anymore. The Tories only have to win 12 Liberal MPs (DUP support is a given), or rule as a minority government.

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