Election 2010: David Cameron to try to form government

A SEA OF BLUE: The local constituency outcome

A SEA OF BLUE: The local constituency outcome

First published in News

DAVID Cameron was today offered the keys to 10 Downing Street, after Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said that the Conservatives had the "first right" to seek to form a government in Britain's first hung Parliament since 1974.

The Conservative leader will give his initial public response in a statement at 2.30pm, but it was thought far from certain that he would accept any deal with the Lib Dems which included reform of Westminster's first-past-the-post voting system.

Tories do not have the voting strength to maintain an outright majority in the new House of Commons, but may hope to govern as a minority administration with support from Northern Irish unionists, rather than offer the electoral reform that is likely to be an essential condition of any deal with the Lib Dems.

Senior Labour ministers including Lord Mandelson and Peter Hain left no doubt that the party would be ready to deliver some form of proportional voting system in return for Lib Dems joining them in an "anti-Conservative progressive majority" in the Commons.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown this morning fired the starting pistol on what is expected to be several days of haggling over a coalition government when he ordered the head of the civil service, Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell to provide official support for discussions between the parties.

In a statement issued by 10 Downing Street, Mr Brown left no doubt that he is not intending to step down immediately as Prime Minister as a result of Labour losing its majority in Parliament in yesterday's election.

Mr Brown said he had "a duty as Prime Minister to take all steps to ensure Britain has a strong, stable and principled government".

But Mr Cameron insisted that Labour had "lost its mandate to govern our country", as his party raced ahead in terms of seats won in the new Parliament.

The Conservatives were on target to gain more seats in this ballot than in any General Election for 80 years, said Mr Cameron after winning his Witney constituency in Oxfordshire.

With 29 seats left to declare, the Conservatives had 291 MPs, with Labour on 251 and the Lib Dems on 52. None of the parties were able to reach the 326 threshold for outright victory.

See all the results and the big stories of the night here.

• Don't miss the Dorset Echo's election special on Friday.

Comments (12)

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8:33am Fri 7 May 10

Kim Jong-Il says...

Gutted over Jim Knight.
.
It's as if a million voices cried out in fear... then nothing.
Gutted over Jim Knight. . It's as if a million voices cried out in fear... then nothing. Kim Jong-Il
  • Score: 0

9:27am Fri 7 May 10

ian king says...

Glad to see the back of Knight in a resounding win for Richard Drax!

Knight as my MP was a failure and his office ignored my calls when in need of help. Mr Drax was around my house in 48hrs after I was forced to go to him and he was not even my MP at the time. Now he is my MP I look forwarded to getting things done!

GOOD RIDDANCE LABOUR

You have ruined this Country and the worst Government for Britain (or what's left of it) in living memory and a party of Traitors.
Glad to see the back of Knight in a resounding win for Richard Drax! Knight as my MP was a failure and his office ignored my calls when in need of help. Mr Drax was around my house in 48hrs after I was forced to go to him and he was not even my MP at the time. Now he is my MP I look forwarded to getting things done! GOOD RIDDANCE LABOUR You have ruined this Country and the worst Government for Britain (or what's left of it) in living memory and a party of Traitors. ian king
  • Score: 0

9:38am Fri 7 May 10

CHEVAL says...

Well done Jim, you served your constituents very well and definitely have been the best MP
for South Dorset in the 30 yrs I have lived here. Good luck in the future. PS it may have been a different story if Labour had had a more charismatic leader.
Well done Jim, you served your constituents very well and definitely have been the best MP for South Dorset in the 30 yrs I have lived here. Good luck in the future. PS it may have been a different story if Labour had had a more charismatic leader. CHEVAL
  • Score: 0

9:50am Fri 7 May 10

daddykingcool says...

CHEVAL wrote:
Well done Jim, you served your constituents very well and definitely have been the best MP for South Dorset in the 30 yrs I have lived here. Good luck in the future. PS it may have been a different story if Labour had had a more charismatic leader.
So predictable, labour voters will now blame 1 person (Gordon Brown) for their failings - it's the whole party and their policies that are at fault - now let's get this mess sorted out!
[quote][p][bold]CHEVAL[/bold] wrote: Well done Jim, you served your constituents very well and definitely have been the best MP for South Dorset in the 30 yrs I have lived here. Good luck in the future. PS it may have been a different story if Labour had had a more charismatic leader.[/p][/quote]So predictable, labour voters will now blame 1 person (Gordon Brown) for their failings - it's the whole party and their policies that are at fault - now let's get this mess sorted out! daddykingcool
  • Score: 0

10:18am Fri 7 May 10

FitterC says...

We have lost a fine constituency MP. Many thanks Jim for all your hard work over the years. Your successor will have a very difficult time following your example.

As to the rest of the country... Gordon Brown as incumbent has first shot at forming a government with the Lib-Dems and Others. PR will almost certainly be the price. In which case there will be another general election with different rules in a year or so.

If GB cannot form a government within a week, David Cameron gets a go. With 40 seats left to declare (at the time of writing) he might just form a majority coalition with the UU, in which case he will lead a fragile government which would be very unlikely to last a full term. Election within two years would be a reasonable expectation. An alliance with the LibDems is very unlikely since the Tories are against PR. So if Cameron fails to form a majority coalition, he will almost certainly lose the vote on the Queen's Speech in which case we can expect a new general election within a matter of months.

What stands out above all else is Labour's remarkable come-back from 20 points down in the polls and the Tories' failure to win an election that should have been theirs for the taking.

I predict that Cameron will not be leading the Tory party in two year's time.
We have lost a fine constituency MP. Many thanks Jim for all your hard work over the years. Your successor will have a very difficult time following your example. As to the rest of the country... Gordon Brown as incumbent has first shot at forming a government with the Lib-Dems and Others. PR will almost certainly be the price. In which case there will be another general election with different rules in a year or so. If GB cannot form a government within a week, David Cameron gets a go. With 40 seats left to declare (at the time of writing) he might just form a majority coalition with the UU, in which case he will lead a fragile government which would be very unlikely to last a full term. Election within two years would be a reasonable expectation. An alliance with the LibDems is very unlikely since the Tories are against PR. So if Cameron fails to form a majority coalition, he will almost certainly lose the vote on the Queen's Speech in which case we can expect a new general election within a matter of months. What stands out above all else is Labour's remarkable come-back from 20 points down in the polls and the Tories' failure to win an election that should have been theirs for the taking. I predict that Cameron will not be leading the Tory party in two year's time. FitterC
  • Score: 0

10:19am Fri 7 May 10

ian king says...

Labour started the Blame culture so I guess that makes sense...and the Victim culture and so on...
Labour started the Blame culture so I guess that makes sense...and the Victim culture and so on... ian king
  • Score: 0

10:29am Fri 7 May 10

ian king says...

P.S Jim Could you take that champagne socialist traitor Billy Bragg with you too?
P.S Jim Could you take that champagne socialist traitor Billy Bragg with you too? ian king
  • Score: 0

10:30am Fri 7 May 10

CHEVAL says...

Its clearly wrong that the Tories with more seats may not be able to form a government under our constitution. Its also wrong that with 25% of the popular vote the Liberals only have 60 odd seats. The whole electoral system needs looking at (although for some reason the Tories dont seem too keen on that - not sure why).
Its clearly wrong that the Tories with more seats may not be able to form a government under our constitution. Its also wrong that with 25% of the popular vote the Liberals only have 60 odd seats. The whole electoral system needs looking at (although for some reason the Tories dont seem too keen on that - not sure why). CHEVAL
  • Score: 0

11:31am Fri 7 May 10

theusualsuspect says...

This whole mess makes me wonder why we bother to vote at all. This country has no borders to speak of, foreign policy dictated by the United States , and all decisions concerning us seem to be finally ratified in Brussels ! None of the three main parties will change any of this, so not long now until we go the same way as Greece, Spain Portugal...
This whole mess makes me wonder why we bother to vote at all. This country has no borders to speak of, foreign policy dictated by the United States , and all decisions concerning us seem to be finally ratified in Brussels ! None of the three main parties will change any of this, so not long now until we go the same way as Greece, Spain Portugal... theusualsuspect
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Fri 7 May 10

Tru belle says...

Well now, the MedjaMurdoch circus are the puppet masters now or is Cameron the ventriloquists dummy?

This PR exercise will produce more tears before bedtime. Many people reckon that this exercise was to get the Cameron man of little substance in then oust him, replacing him with a heavier weight Tory.
Well now, the MedjaMurdoch circus are the puppet masters now or is Cameron the ventriloquists dummy? This PR exercise will produce more tears before bedtime. Many people reckon that this exercise was to get the Cameron man of little substance in then oust him, replacing him with a heavier weight Tory. Tru belle
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Fri 7 May 10

RobinofLocksley says...

Oi! Nick Clegg! NO! Don't touch that tory poisoned chalice.
Oi! Nick Clegg! NO! Don't touch that tory poisoned chalice. RobinofLocksley
  • Score: 0

9:25am Sun 9 May 10

Dispirited says...

The electoral system does need looking at but is PR the answer. The BNP got more votes than the SNP who gained 6 seats. Under PR the BNP would get 10 seats. Is this what people want? Electoral reform needs to be well thought out not implemented from pressure by those who feel they have been hard done by. Those demonstrating outside Parliament for PR are most likely the same people who will be bricking Parliament under PR should the BNP gain 10 seats. At this moment in time Nick Clegg and David Cameron must think deeply before they give us an electoral system we come to regret.
The electoral system does need looking at but is PR the answer. The BNP got more votes than the SNP who gained 6 seats. Under PR the BNP would get 10 seats. Is this what people want? Electoral reform needs to be well thought out not implemented from pressure by those who feel they have been hard done by. Those demonstrating outside Parliament for PR are most likely the same people who will be bricking Parliament under PR should the BNP gain 10 seats. At this moment in time Nick Clegg and David Cameron must think deeply before they give us an electoral system we come to regret. Dispirited
  • Score: 0

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