A hung parliament highly likely this General Election

The UK faces the possibility of the General Election resulting in a hung parliament.

Data released by YouGov on Monday predicted that the Conservative Party is short of 21 seats to achieve a 326-seat majority in the UK General Election. If the Conservative Party is short of a majority, it will result in a hung parliament.

Parliament in winter from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 almost witty, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

What is a hung parliament?

A hung parliament is when no political party has enough seats to secure the overall majority.

If all other parties team up against the ruling party, it makes legislation difficult to pass. In this case the governing party is left with two options. They either have to convince the other parties to support them or form a coalition with other parties.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry declared that if Labour gets the most votes, they would not consider any coalition with the other parties and would form a minority government instead.

Thornberry said when addressing supporters is Basildon: “If we end up in a position where we are in a minority, we will go ahead and we will put forward a queen’s speech and a budget. If we are the largest party, we go ahead – no deals.”

What is a minority government?

A minority government is when a political party or a coalition of political parties form a government without having the majority of the seats in the parliament.

If the Conservative Party or Labour do not get the majority of seats, May or Corbyn would have to consider the option of forming an alliance with either the Liberal Democrats, which May’s predecessor David Cameron did in 2010, or the Scottish National Party.

The other option is to gain the support of several smaller parties.

If May or Corbyn do not gain support from other parties or form an alliance, the government may hold another election after a few months.

Labour and the Conservative Party could also form a minority government alone. This is however risky because they may not have enough seats to get any decisions or legislation passed in parliament.

This last happened in 1974 when the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson called a general election seven months after the date he was sworn in.

With the British people going to the polls on 8 June and the predicted high possibility of a hung parliament, all eyes will be on the strategic moves to form coalitions.


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