Gordon Brown’s announcement that he intends to stand down as UK Prime Minister and Labour party leader has fired media speculation that he’s moving aside to clear the way for Britain to be run by a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition government.
Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg, whose party came third in the May 6 vote, holds the balance of power. He began May 10 by talking to the Conservatives, but Brown’s intended resignation and promises of electoral reform may be swaying the Lib-Dems toward Labour.
As much as he appeared to want to be Prime Minister, Conservative leader David Cameron – whose party won the most seats in the recent UK election – may have to settle for continuing as leader of the opposition.
The math says the Conservatives were fast post the post with 306 seats, followed by Labour with 258, and then Clegg – who now has the role of kingmaker and his Liberal Democrats – with 57 seats.
The other 29 seats that make up the 650 in the Commons are held by MPs from Ireland’s Sinn Féin, Democratic Unionist, and Social Democratic parties, the Welsh MPs from Plaid Cymru, the Scottish Nationalists, plus a Green and a couple of independent MPs.
There’s also one constituency still to be decided via a by-election because one of the main parties’ candidates died after the general election was called.
The Irish MPs from Sinn Fein don’t show for the London parliament because they refuse to swear allegiance to the Queen. It shouldn’t be hard to persuade the Welsh and the Scots to vote against the Conservatives.
The Labour and Lib Dems have a parliamentary majority if they can round up the minor parties to back them.
So, after 29,653,638 people had cast their votes – 65.1 percent of those eligible – the UK looks to be on the way to being governed by a coalition of losers.