Monday, 10 May 2010

Election Yields first Hung Parliament since 1974

By Ben Aulakh

The United Kingdom has its first hung parliament since 1974 after Thursday’s General Election saw none of the main parties gaining an overall majority.

The Conservatives won the most seats – 306 – but fell 20 short of the number they needed to form an outright majority government.

Labour lost 91 seats, ending up with 258 overall while the Liberal Democrats – widely expected to increase their share of parliament– were victorious in 5 fewer constituencies than in 2005, ending up with 57.

The number of constituencies with a Conservative MP rose by 97, with swathes of central, eastern and southern England turning blue on the electoral map.

In terms of vote share the contest was much closer than would be suggested by each parties share of parliament, the Conservatives had 36 per cent of the vote, Labour 29 per cent and the Liberal Democrats 23 per cent.

Labour once again dominated the in major urban centres while the Lib Dems saw their strongest regional showing in the South West and Cornwall, with 15 constituencies captured by the party.

Once again the Conservatives had a poor showing in Scotland with only Dumfriesshire falling to the Tory’s.

The party fared a little better in Wales topping the ballot in 7 of the principality’s 40 constituencies.

The election also saw the first ever Green Party MP in parliament, Caroline Lucas, Leader of the Party took the seat of Brighton Pavilion from the incumbent Labour MP Nancy Platts.

The British National Party, despite fielding more than 300 candidates failed to top the ballot in a single constituency.

Their biggest showing, 14.6 per cent of the vote was in Barking and Dagenham, where the party’s leader, Nick Griffin was beaten into third place, behind Conservative candidate Simon Marcus, and the standing Labour MP, Margaret Hodge.

The Minister for Culture and Tourism delivered a victory message after the result was announced, saying, “One behalf of all the people in Britain, we have not just beaten but have smashed the extreme right.

“The lesson from Barking to the BNP is clear: Get out and stay out, you’re not wanted here and your vile politics have no place in British democracy.”

Photograph from

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