Hung Parliament

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Legs, Mar 21, 2010.

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  1. They say that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. They also tell you to ask it 'cos others want to but are to scared of looking stupid. So I'll ask.

    Lots of news programmes are talking about a Hung Parliament after the next election. I know that this is to do with neither main party having a clear majority. But that's all I know. So please, in simple terms can someone answer the question:

    What exactly causes and constitutes a Hung Parliament, and what would it mean to Britain?
  2. In parliamentary systems, a hung parliament is one in which no one political party has an outright majority of seats. (Wiki)

    In terms of what it means-the rest of the world doesn't give a **** about what government we have other than that we have one that can do stuff-that is what stops us being Italy or Greece. The Rest can deal with Socialists of Conservatives and (in the long run) it actually makes comparatively little difference who actually runs the country (this however does not excuse Broon for being a total knobber).

    What they don't like is uncertainty-at Zanu-Liarbour have narrowed the gap in the poles the Pound has taken a flogging (cnuts-I am off to Florida in the summer).

    A hung parliament usually means a rerun fairly soon (1974 for example) so either Dave needs to find some policies and get back ahead, or he needs to conceed that he hasn't any policies and condemn us to 5 more years of Stalinist dictatorship at the hands of Cyclops.

    Hope this helps
  3. Damn thought there had been a suicide pact with the Government when I read the title...shame could of been a happy thread this one legs :cry:
  4. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    It means the Lib-Dems can talk about 'running the country' :lol:
  5. As above, it means that instead of the majority party being able to push through their own manifesto they now have to join with another party to do this to win the vote. The problem here is that now they have to back the other party in one of their votes.

    It's basically messing up the ability for one party to lead, instead you would then have the Tories and Labour both being able to push through legislation and votes if the Lib Dems and others back them.

    The rest of the world do not like this thought, as it means votes on things that appear negative may not go through as the Lib Dems or Labour would vote against them, not exactly the type of thing you want when you're taking over a bankrupt country that needs to get its deficit lowered and pay off debts, as well as making widespread changes to reduce costs, you won't exactly have Labour or the Lib Dems lining up to vote with the tories on unpopular things.
  6. A hung Parliament means that, since no party has an overall majority, they have to form strategic alliances with MPs from other parties to see their policies through. The obvious contender is the Lib Dems but there are many more parties represented in Parliament so it depends on the majority held by the Party forming Parliament which parties or MPs come to prominence. If say the Tories only needed one MP to gain an overall majority then you'd probably see an Independent MP become a junior minister. If they needed several MPs to gain an overall majority they will form a strategic alliance with whichever party they feel they can live with as a junior partner and who has the requisite number of MPs. Inevitably policy becomes very watered down and middle-of-the-road because the alliance has to acknowledge each other's policy and political aims. Such alliances are always fragile and quite often very quickly become unworkable. It just depends how pragmatic the junior partner is. If they realise that the only chance they've got, or are ever likely to have, of seeing their own policy, or parts thereof, through is to make the alliance work then they will stick with the alliance. The trouble is that the senior partner often forgets why they had to form an alliance in the first place and becomes too dogmatic.
  7. After long consideration of the prospect, and after much debate with learned acquaintances, I have concluded I may vote for a Hung Parliament, on strict condition that Phoney Blair is brought back and hung first ;)

  8. some commentators have suggested a hung parliament would be a good thing. It wouldn't.

    In the case of a hung parliament no one party has an outright majority over the other parties and is therefore only the largest of the minority parties. A lot of people presume that if the Conservatives are the largest minority party that they would take over, albeit without a clear majority which, they presume would lead to "checks and balances". This actually wouldn't be the case as the party in power before the general election would have the right to form the first government even if they had a smaller number of MPs than the "opposition". In other words Labour would carry on even if they had fewer MPs than the Conservatives.

    The options available would be to try and form a pact with another party to have a coalition majority (the only way this would happen is if the Lib Dems got their wish for Proportional Representation - a bad, bad system of election that would suit no-one other than the Lib Dems and in which seats would go to MPs who weren't ANYONE's first preference as it counts second preference votes - which are nearly always going to be Lib Dems). The other way of governing would be as a minority government. This would continue until the Labour party lost either a vote of confidence or a piece of legislation central to their ability to govern such as the budget. Losing a major piece of legislation that was a central feature of the manifesto may also trigger a confidence vote as an ammendment to the primary legislation. If that happens then, and only then, would the Conservatives have the chance to take over. If that failed a new election would have to be called during a period of what is called "prorogation" where Parliament is suspended while essential business is forced through with the support of the Lords with parliament being dissolved only once the administration of the country's finances and law and order are assured.

    If we had a hung parliament it would lead to a massive flight of confidence in the money market, and given our levels of national debt would result in our credit rating dropping, share prices falling, and the kind of inflation that Mugabe would be proud of. Believe me, no-one wants a hung parliament if they want to have a house worth anything near the size of their mortgage, a bank balance that stays level or goes up instead of rapidly down in value, and credit they can afford.
  9. Some very good points but, on PR, don't the majority vote for the party rather than candidate anyway?

    I'd be very surprised if most people voting were able to answer even trivially simple questions about their chosen candidates. My neighbour asserts she is a die-hard Tory but she didn't know the name of our current Tory MP.
  10. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Nope, the constitutional precedent is that the leader of the largest party in the Commons is asked by the Queen to form an administration. This is actually what happened in Feb 74 but there was a slight delay as Ted Heath was levered kicking and screaming from No 10, because the Tories had actually got the most votes by a substantial margin. He argued that he should be allowed to try to form an administration but was told 'no'.

    As for the rest of it, broadly yes. It's interesting to note what the BBC is saying at present. Every time an opinion poll comes out showing a weak Tory lead, the markets dip and the BBC claims it's over 'fears of a hung Parliament'. Is it bollocks: the markets actually dip over fears that Labour might get re-elected and continue to wipe their arses on the economy.
  11. The title is incomplete, it should read "Hung drawn and quartered Parliament"
  12. I don't see PR a bad thing, the current first past the post system is nuts. 20% of the population might vote for a given party but not end up with an MP of that party in parliament... madness.

    The arguments against a hung parliament are all to do with difficulty to effect policies. I'd rather have a difficult process to get to a good policy than have one party steamroller their view over all others.
  13. Equally the first past the post system gives us these massive majorities which makes ther PM of the day an effective dictator able to force through legislation that significant numbers of his/her own party think is wrong. This also has the tendency to create these massive swings in style from left to right and then back again which waste legislative time and stop our country moving forward, because we are always going from side to side.

    Ofcourse the big parties do not like PR because they will lose control and have to fight much harder for their seats. In Scotland minority government has worked and is in many ways more honest than coalitions because each deal is on a case by case basis.
  14. I'm really quite pissed off by all this talk of 'MPs hung from a noose'.

    Anyone should know the correct term is 'Hanged'.
  15. That was exactly what i was getting at... i consider PR to be better all round