Britain’s Election Over and ... Nobody Won


With most precincts reporting, the BBC is predicting that the Conservatives (Tories) have won 306 seats in Parliament, Labour 261, and the underdog Liberal Democrats 54 (lower than expected after party leader Nick Clegg caught the country’s imagination with stirring performances in the first-ever televised debates). The Tory majority is not big enough for them to form a government, which means, basically, that Labour’s Gordon Brown is still prime minister for the time being as everyone negotiates to try and form a new government. According to the Times, what makes the most sense numbers-wise is for the Tories and the Liberal Democrats to ally together to cobble up an administration and end thirteen years of Labour’s reign — but since those two parties’ politics are the most directly opposed, this is no easy task. If you think this whole process is extremely murky, you’re not alone — the British Constitution offers no clear guidelines on what to do in this situation, which hasn’t happened since 1974.

Tories Gain but Fail to Take Parliament [NYT]
Election Results [BBC]