London (UPI) May 7, 2010
Britons on Friday woke up to political uncertainty and the prospect for the first hung Parliament since 1974 after no party won an outright majority in Thursday's general election.
"Hand me the keys to Downing Street" -- that's how Conservative Party leader David Cameron might have thought after final results began to trickle.
After 642 of 650 seats in Britain's Parliament had been declared, Cameron's conservatives won 306 seats, ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labor Party, which took 258 seats.
"The Labor government has lost its mandate to govern our country," Cameron said early Friday. "Our country wants change. That change is going to require new leadership."
Well -- it's not as simple as that. Any single party needs 326 seats to form a majority government and that won't happen, so Britain is headed for its first hung Parliament in nearly four decades.
Coalition talks are expected to be lengthy and difficult, with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, whose party won 57 seats, in the position to make or break a government.
While Clegg has indicated the Conservatives should get the first shot at a government, incumbent Brown won't go down with a fight.
The prime minister returned to Downing Street Friday and will draw up an offer to Clegg's Liberal Democrats to form a coalition government, officials from his party said.
"The outcome of this country's vote is not yet known," Brown said. "But my duty to the country coming out of this election is to play my part in Britain having a strong, stable and principled government able to lead Britain into sustained economic recovery."
Senior Labor officials said that under the rules of Britain's constitution, the sitting prime minister in a hung Parliament makes the first attempt at forming a ruling coalition -- so it could be Brown's turn again.
Clegg, who had performed strongly in televised debates ahead of the vote but failed to turn it into electoral support, urged rivals Cameron and Brown not to delay the formation of government.
"It is vital that all parties, all political leaders, act in the national interest and not out of narrow party political advantage," he said.
A new government would have to act swiftly to turn around Britain's ailing economy and consolidate the federal budget. Any delay would only worsen the country's troubles, observers say.
Meanwhile, it surfaced that hundreds of voters were turned away from polling stations all over Britain as the extremely high turnout overwhelmed election workers.
Voters queuing outside the polling stations in parts of London, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle and Surrey were sent home as the election deadline passed, BBC News reports.
Officials have announced to investigate the incidents.
"There should have been sufficient resources allocated to ensure that everyone who wished to vote was able to do so," Britain's Electoral Commission said in a statement.
All three leaders expressed their concerns over the incidents. As some election results may be challenged, the uncertainty over Thursday's vote will likely continue for days.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Japan PM under fire over US base U-turn
Tokyo (AFP) May 5, 2010
Japan's embattled Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama faced a barrage of criticism on Wednesday after his U-turn on the relocation of a US base, with calls mounting for him to quit ahead of key elections in July. Major newspapers railed against his decision to scrap plans to move an unpopular US airbase entirely off the island of Okinawa after months of dithering over the issue that angered close ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|