Thursday, May 06, 2010

As British election officials... (3 x UPDATED)

3rd UPDATE: 10:30 p.m. EDT: What is holding up the Conservative Party from pursuing a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats? Well, the titles of those parties ought to give you a huge hint. But it goes deeper, as the BBC reports:

The biggest question tonight is what is in David Cameron's mind about a coalition, says Nick Robinson. Personally, Mr Cameron is perfectly willing to pick up the phone to Nick Clegg, but whether he can persuade his party to agree to that is an entirely different matter. The issue of electoral reform - something Mr Clegg has demanded and the Tories, including Mr Cameron, have opposed, will be critical.

2nd UPDATE: 10:01 p.m. EDT: David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, has won his parliamentary seat. He began his comments by acknowledging the voters who did not get to cast their ballots on Thursday is an important issue that must be addressed.

"Whatever the future may hold," Mr. Cameron said, will not change his passion for working for the people. "We have to wait for the full results to come out." Those comments make clear that he recognizes his party might gain a parliamentary plurality but he might not become the country's next Prime Minister.

1st UPDATE: 9:25 p.m. EDT: An important update from the BBC on the potential for a coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats:

The whole Labour strategy of a coalition with the Lib Dems depended on the latter taking some seats from the Tories, but that hasn't happened, says YouGov's Peter Kellner. For exmple, in Eastbourne the Lib Dems only needed a 1% swing to take control, but they didn't get it - and that will upset both Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown.

ORIGINAL POST:...continue to count the votes, the likelihood of a hung Parliament, meaning one in which none of the political parties has an outright majority, is developing.

The BBC and the other news agencies in the U.K. are anticipating this outcome, and one of the intriguing questions coming out of it is whether Gordon Brown would have any chance to retain his Prime Ministership.

Mr. Brown was re-elected to his seat tonight, and soon thereafter he made the following statement (and I borrow this from the BBC):

"My duty to the country coming out of the election is to play my part in Britain having a strong and stable and principled government. Able to lead Britain into a sustained economic recovery and able to implement our commitments to far-reaching reform to our political system upon which there is a growing consensus in our country."

The expectation is that the Conservative Party will have a plurality of the seats, but the Labour Party (of which Mr. Brown is a member) will win enough seats that it could form a partnership with the Liberal Democrats and therefore get the Parliamentary majority. But it would seem impractical for Mr. Brown to retain his national leadership post.

I'm following the BBC results live on the Internet. You can, as well, by linking here.

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