Tories, Labour eye Lib Dems for support to form next UK govt

Last Updated : 07 May 2010, 13:26 IST

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Out of 641 seats declared, the Conservative party of 43-year-old Cameron won 302 seats, while Labour bagged 256 and Liberal Democrats secured 56 in the 650-member House of Commons. A total of 326 seats are required for an absolute majority.

History was created when two Indian-origin women -- Priti Patel (Conservative) and Valerie Vaz, sister of Labour MP Keith Vaz -- were declared elected in the polls. They will be the first Asian woman MPs in the House.

In a statement outside 10, Downing Street, Brown, who appeared not be conceding defeat, said the election results had thrown an unprecedented situation of a hung Parliament – a territory where Britain had not been since the 1974 elections.
Brown said he respected the decision of Clegg, who has emerged as a king-maker, to speak to the Conservative party but offered to discuss common ground with him.
If discussions between Clegg and Conservative leader Cameron came to nothing, Brown said he would look forward to exploring possibilities with Clegg, particularly in the area of electoral reform and economic stability.

Constitutional and electoral reform has been one of the key campaign points for the Liberal Democrats.

Clegg, earlier in the day, said the party with the largest number of seats and votes should assume power. He said the Conservatives had the "first right to seek to govern" after the election.

"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.

Cameron declared that Brown and the Labour party had lost the mandate to rule. "Our country wants change. That change is going to require new leadership," he said and also indicated that he will enter into negotiations to determine who will form the next government.

"What will guide me will be our national interest," he said.As per rules governing the transition of power, Brown, as Prime Minister, will have the first go at forming a coalition government.

Only when he resigns after coming to the conclusion that he and his party cannot command the confidence of the House of Commons, will Cameron be invited to attempt to form a minority government.  

Published 07 May 2010, 03:27 IST

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