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Friday, 7 May 2010

As exit polls feed into the media following Britain's election and it looks like a majority in the parliament will hang on a coalition between two parties, nobody's spoken a word about who'll decide the outcome. Isn't it the Queen?

A month ago almost to the day, the election in Tasmania delivered an analogous result, with the Greens holding the balance of power. State Governor Peter Underwood invited the Labor Party to form a government on the strength of promises from the Greens not to support a no-confidence motion.

In Britain, it looks as though the Conservatives will garner about 300 seats, Labour about 230 and the up-and-coming Liberal Democrats a healthy 80. About 30 seats will be taken by other parties and independents. These are preliminary figures. So while the outright winner is no mystery, there is no guarantee that the Tories will be invited to form a government in a couple of days' time.

In fact, it could still be Labour's Gordon Brown inhabiting Number 10 Downing Street for another three years.

The outcome would depend, as in the case in Tasmania, on the explicit wishes of Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats, or some sort of complex alliance between the Tories and the smaller parties and/or independents.

Pic credit: UPI/Matthew Cavanaugh/POOL

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