Last week’s UK General Election resulted in a ‘hung Parliament’, which means that none of the two main parties, Labour and Conservatives, gained enough seats to hold an outright majority and form a Government. Labour leader Gordon Brown remains Prime Minister for the time being.
There are 650 seats contested at a General Election, the lion’s share of which have gone to either the Labour or Conservative parties for the last hundred years or so.
To win an election outright and form a Government alone, a party must gain at least 326 seats. But David Cameron’s Conservatives came agonisingly close with 306 seats (one more expected in a yet to be decided seat), with Labour gaining 258 and the Liberal Democrats 57. Other smaller parties gained 28 seats between them.
With the absence of single a party with an overall majority, as has been the case with Governments since Margaret Thatcher’s landslide in 1979, it will be more difficult for a Con-Lib or for that matter a Lab-Lib coalition Government to railroad anti-immigration policy onto the statutes.
The two main party leaders, David Cameron or Gordon Brown, will have to form an alliance with the next largest party, Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats to put together a coalition government with a working majority.
With the Liberals holding the balance of power a coalition Government may be forced to take a more balanced approach to immigration.
Conservatives are traditionally tough on immigration and Labour has been desperately trying to ‘out-tough’ even the most hard-line Tories in a bid to win favour with an increasingly disgruntled electorate.
Nick Clegg’s insistence that an amnesty would be a sensible solution to the sticky question of what to do about the estimated 750,000 illegal immigrants in the UK may have cost his party votes – they won fewer seats in this election than in 2005. They are, however, the only party willing to face the facts that unless radical action is taken it will be virtually impossible to follow through on Labour and Conservative plans to find and deport 750,000 people.
General Election 2010 Results
|Political Party||MPs||+||–||Net||Total Votes||%||Swing|
|Sinn Féin Party||5||0||0||0||171,942||0.6||-0.1|
|Plaid Cymru Party||3||1||0||+1||165,394||0.6||-0.1|