Friday, May 7, 2010

Horse-trading begins amid messy UK election results

David Cameron, whose Conservative party is leading in UK election results, may have the upper hand. But no one party emerged with enough seats to form a government. 

By Ben Quinn, Correspondent / May 7, 2010

Following a chaotic general election result, political horse-trading aimed at cobbling together Britain’s first coalition government for decades has begun.

The political landscape is a mess after no one party emerged with enough seats to form a majority in Parliament.

The ball, however, appears to be in the court of David Cameron, the British Conservative leader whose party won the most votes but fell short of the majority that only a few months ago was considered to be within his grasp.

Nick Clegg, whose centrist Liberal Democrats failed to shatter the Labour and Tory duopoly on power, said this morning that the Conservatives had the first right to seek to govern after winning the biggest mandate in terms of votes and seats.

"I think it is now for the Conservative Party to prove that it is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest," he said on the steps of his party headquarters in London today after the party lost a small number of seats rather than making its much anticipated breakthrough.

Before potentially approaching Mr. Clegg’s party for support, however, the Tories may seek to woo Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

The counting of votes around Britain is still ongoing, but on the basis of projections the Tories will end up with 306 seats out of Britain’s 650-seat Parliament. Allied with the Democratic Unionists' eight seats, the party would still not have a majority.

Nevertheless, the Conservatives may claim a moral victory and seek to rule Britain as a minority government – daring other parties to risk the public’s wrath by voting it down in Parliament at a time of grave economic challenges....

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