{date|May 7, 2010}}

Incumbent PM Gordon Brown, Labour
Image: ΠΑΣΟΚ.
David Cameron, Conservative
Image: World Economic Forum.
Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat
Image: Nick Clegg.

A day after general elections were held in the UK, results indicate there will be a hung parliament, where no party obtains a simply majority. With only several constituencies not yet counted, David Cameron's Conservatives have taken 302 seats, incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour party 256 seats, and Nick Clegg with his Liberal Democrats with 56. Cameron has said he will negotiate with the latter party to try and form a coalition to attain more than 325 seats, or half those in the parliament.

After Labour's large losses at the polls yesterday, both in terms of seats and votes, Cameron said Brown has "lost his mandate to govern". Clegg, meanwhile, says he thinks the result allows the Conservatives to try to form a government first, contrary to past tradition, under which the incumbent prime minister and his party in a hung parliament try first to form a coalition.

"I've said that whichever party gets the most votes and the most seats, if not an absolute majority, has the first right to seek to govern either on its own or by reaching out to other parties, and I stick to that view," Clegg said.

"It seems this morning that it is the Conservative Party that has more votes and more seats though not an absolute majority. That is why I think it is now for the Conservative Party to prove that it is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest."

Brown responded to this, saying he "respects" Cameron's talks with the Liberal Democrats. "I understand and completely respect the position of Mr. Clegg in stating that he wishes first to make contact with the leader of the Conservative Party," he commented, but noting that, "should the discussions between Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg come to nothing [...] I would be prepared to discuss with Mr. Clegg the areas where there may be some measure of agreement between our two parties." He said there is "substantial common ground" between his party and the Liberals.

"I understand as I know my fellow party leaders do that people do not like the uncertainty or want it to be prolonged. We live, however, in a parliamentary democracy, the outcome has been delivered by the electorate. It is our responsibility now to make it work for the national good," Brown said.

The AFP news agency says that this is the first time the Liberal Democrats have considered working with Conservatives; previously, the former were thought likelier to negotiate with Labour due to both being considered more "progressive".

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Brown not to step down after "lost mandate"


Brown, however, has made it clear he has no intention of stepping down as PM, saying he has "a duty as Prime Minister to take all steps to ensure Britain has a strong, stable and principled government".

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson commented on the matter, saying: "The Prime Minister's duty is to stay at his post, to continue doing his job and not resign until it is clear who the Queen should call as an alternative to form a new government, should Mr Brown not be able to do so."

When asked whether it was "inconceivable" that the PM should step down, Mandelson responded: "Frankly, there are quite a number of permutations. And the reason I don't want to start getting into hypotheses about what may or may not happen is because, quite frankly, I think it's premature. I am not ruling out or ruling in anything."

The director of the government and parliament programme for Hansard Society, Ruth Fox, spoke with the Al Jazeera news agency about the issue, saying she thinks things will become more certain soon: "I would expect over the weekend and definitely by Monday to have some sort of resolution. Given Nick Clegg's statement today we might get something earlier than that."