Gordon Brown, Labour; Nick Clegg, Liberal; David Cameron, Conservative
Seats and percentage of vote
Majority required: 326
[*]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%
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?