Fri, May 07, 2010
World > Europe > 2010 British election race

British election delivers "hung parliament:" preliminary results

2010-05-07 08:45:54 GMT2010-05-07 16:45:54 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A security guard stands in front of No. 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, in the early morning of May 7, 2010. The general election in Britain resulted in a "hung parliament" as no party is going to win a clear majority, preliminary results showed Friday. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

An ABC crew do live broadcast in front of No. 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, in the early morning of May 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

Reporters gather in front of No. 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, in the early morning of May 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

LONDON, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The British general election resulted in a "hung parliament" as no party can win a clear majority, and the Conservative Party is set to become the largest party in the new parliament, preliminary results showed Friday.

Conservatives have won 291 seats so far, leaving them well short of the 326 members of Parliament party leader David Cameron needs to lead a majority government.

The BBC projected that Cameron's Conservatives will have 306 seats. If there are 10 Unionists elected in Northern Ireland then Cameron might be able to command 316 -- probably still slightly too few for him to be sure of winning a Queen's Speech.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband appeared to open the door for a Lib-Lab pact, dismissing Tory claims on office.

Under Britain's constitution, the sitting prime minister in a hung parliament makes the first attempt at forming a ruling coalition.

But according to the BBC figures, Labor and the Liberal Democrats together would have 317 seats, which even with three SDLP members of parliament would still leave them at 320 -- again a few votes short of a majority.

After sweeping to victory in his Witney constituency, Cameron said: "We have to wait for the full results, but it is clear the Labour government has lost its mandate to govern this country."

But Miliband told Sky News that: "If no party has a majority in the House of Commons, no party has a moral right to a monopoly of power."

"The voters have given us an injunction to talk to each other to see if strong and stable government can be secured," he said.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labor Party has obtained 247 seats and Brown returned to Downing Street No. 10.

In a statement, Brown said the election results are likely to show there is no clear majority for any single party. "As I said last night, it is my duty as prime minister to take all steps to ensure Britain has a strong, stable and principled government."

As a response to the result, Brown said civil servants will help parties with hung parliament plan. He said: "I have asked the Cabinet Secretary to arrange for the civil service to provide support on request to parties engaged in discussions on the formation of government."

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg's successful TV-debate performance cannot translate into seats and just gain 51 seats so far. He urged everyone involved to "take a little time" to ensure people got the government they deserved during these "difficult times" but also admitted that it is a disappointing night for the Lib Dems.

Clegg just arrived at the Lib Dems' headquarter in London, saying that he sticks to his view that the party with most votes and seats -- the Conservatives -- should seek to form a government.

Clegg said: "It is vital that all parties, all political leaders, act in the national interest and not out of narrow party political advantage."

In addition, the economy is a hot issue during the election with all parties vowing to secure economic recovery. However, the London stock market fell sharply in early trade on Friday as shares were hit by worries over the prospect of a hung parliament in Britain.

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