“Labour cannot now win a majority, but it is not clear which party will be in a position to form a government. BBC 5/7
And — latest BBC Election story
The vote totals so far:
Conservative: 10.6 mil
Labour: 8.5 mil
Liberal Dem: 6.7 mil
Other: >4.0 mil
Latest: Clegg Meets Cameron on Power Deal
Earlier: Clegg considering Cameron offer * The new deal: Cameron’s offer to Lib Dems – Brown counters with “Full proportional reform” * Cameron’s big offer to Lib Dems – NO election reform * Brown Tempts Clegg with “far reaching” reform * Cameron to try and form government
The totals reflect national sentiment but the total seats determine who forms a government. If the Conservatives stay below 326 seats, then it’s called a “hung” Parliament. The party in power, as in 1974, has the first option for form a government, Labour in this case. If they fail, then the Conservatives will have their shot. The largest power broker will be the Liberal Democrats led by Nick Clegg.
On April 25, Clegg indicated that he’d consider forming a government with the Conservatives if they fell short. He excluded Gordon Brown led Labour at that time. Now that the Conservatives performance in total votes looks weaker than expected, Labour may be able to make a deal. Since the Liberal Democrats and Labour are closer together ideologically, that deal would reflect the political sentiment, at least by total votes for the parties. The Conservatives could also go after a coalition with the smaller parties.