Brown in no hurry to leave, Tories and Lib Dems move closer

Conservative 306 (36%), Labour 258 (29%), Liberal Democrats 57 (23%)

So the United Kingdom has a hung Parliament after the general election, with the Conservatives short of the 326 needed for a majority to form a government on their own. On the day after, the defeated prime minister Gordon Brown indicated he would allow the other two main parties to try to form a government and should any other leader want to hold talks with him, he would be available.

Brown appears to be in no hurry to submit his resignation to the Queen. For the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, the results have been deeply disappointing, after the initial surge in opinion polls in the wake of the first televised debate. His reaffirmation today that the party with the largest number of seats and the biggest share of the vote should be allowed to try to form the next government appears to rule out the possibility of a Labour-Lib Dem alliance, formal or informal. Brown remaining the Labour leader would pose an added problem.

In an attempt to woo the Lib Dems, Labour has promised to consider introducing proportional representation as an immediate priority, a long-standing Lib Dem demand. But even with Lib Dem support, Labour cannot achieve a majority in Parliament. The Conservative leader David Cameron has also promised to consider electoral reform and cooperation with Lib Dems on the prospect of dropping Labour’s plan to introduce ID cards and other issues of civil liberties. the Lib dem leader specified his conditions for cooperation – fairer taxation system, greener economy and proportional representation. The two sides are talking.

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