Mini-lecture: A hung Parliament explained (UCL)

Mini-lecture: A hung Parliament explained (UCL)

A hung Parliament is one when there’s no clear outcome to the election. In the next election, which will be held probably
in May of this year, the new House of Commons will have 650 members. And if one party doesn’t gain 325 seats or more, it won’t have an overall majority,
and then we’ll have a hung Parliament. For the British public, it’ll mean that initially it isn’t clear who might form the next government. And what might happen is that Gordon Brown, the incumbent Prime Minister, will remain in office as Prime Minister
through the election and after the election until it becomes clear in the new Parliament who can command confidence in the new Parliament and form the new government. And that isn’t necessarily the largest single party. So if David Cameron and the Conservatives win the most seats, but they’re still short of an overall majority, it’s possible that Gordon Brown might be able to negotiate
with the Liberal Democrats, and, if they’re willing to support him, then he might continue as Prime Minister and form a minority government with Liberal Democrats’ support. But equally the Conservatives will also want to negotiate,
and they might form a minority government. And it’ll be the Liberal Democrats, who it is most likely as the third party, will in effect decide which of the two major parties
will be the new government. In most other countries in the world, they have proportional voting systems, and
it’s very rare for one party to have an overall majority. So, throughout continental Europe, for example, it’s quite normal for there to be minority governments
or coalition governments. And they’re very used to after elections
having negotiations between the political parties to see who will form the next government. We’re going to have probably negotiations after our next election before it becomes clear
who can form the new government here. Last year the Constitution Unit did a lot of research
on hung parliaments and minority government in partnership with the Institute for Government. And we published a big report in December of last year, which contained recommendations on how to make
a hung parliament work and how to make minority government work. Those included recommendations for the Crown, that, in the event of a hung Parliament,
the Queen should stand back until the political parties had worked out who could form the new government and only then should she be involved and invite someone
to lead the new government. They included recommendations
for the new government itself. If it is a minority government, it shouldn’t seek to govern
in a majoritarian way but should reach out to the other parties
in Parliament because it will need that support to get all its measures through. And we also had recommendations
for the Civil Service that they need to be prepared to support the negotiations
between the political parties after the election and also to support the new government in seeking to government
in a new minority Parliament.


  1. An excellent explanation – crystal clear!
    The situation Professor Hazell describes is EXACTLY what we now have (the morning after the General Election). Although Nick Clegg has been disappointed he nevertheless has an important part to play at this point.

  2. @likeastarbaby Ironically the tories have been against reform to this stupid system in the past, and now it's gone and bit them on the bum

  3. @EpicPoseidonBeard
    they was never any Democracy in this country
    thats why this country has got to hell

  4. I am not surprised by the situation and in the present climate, do not see it as a bad state to be in. More peoples opinions shall be taken into consideration because of this outcome.

  5. Back door deals in smoke filled rooms,with free large brandies all round………..all in the interest of the taxpayer of course.

  6. Cos im not very politicaly minded i thought id take a look to enlighten me …. Clear as mud mate thanx for that ….. Thats that sorted then !!!

  7. why are people being so cynical about politics at the mo'. if you don't like the status quo (hell, i want the whole lot shot) do something about it. while people sit on their arses wingeing, politicians won't change, they know the public won't do anything. make 'em work for their money. politicians can't change the world on their own, everyone else has to do their bit as well. peace

  8. This is pathetic we could end up with a prime minister that no one has voted for wot a farce

  9. can't we just swop the words around parliament hung, coz that what all the britsih public wanna do to them!

  10. Anyone who has knowledge of how our system works would say the same thing. We have an unwritten constitution but that doesn't mean we don't have procedures in place for a hung parliament.

  11. @foxhounduk2k8 in my a level government and politics class, we all predicted what will happen today and it was right. it was quite obvious that it will be a hung parliament with the torys coming up so close.

  12. @TheDrunkenTrooper Well technically people DID vote for Cameron, its just that his party did not win enough seats to pass the 236 seat post.

  13. why dont the bastards vote for what they think?
    why don't they decide things on what they each think is right rather than having one party dictate things for the rest of us poor sods.

    they are all dirty conspiring liars who only want to line their own pockets earn titles and screw over the people who they are supposed to be serving.

    if someone wants to be a politician that should instantly disqaulify them.
    to think i was going to put 30 quid on it, bugger

  14. so the queen would finally have a use then eh !!!!!!

    here was me thinking she was just a waste of funds

  15. My dad told me that his understanding of a hung parliament, was when the total country is so fed up with wots on offer from the current politicians that the queen invites them all to the Tower of London and has them all hung in the tower ,
    Then we Start again from Fresh …………. Seems like a great idea can we claim expenses to go and watch

  16. Majority governments suck, They are like dictatorships, No wonder the Tories Love Them.

    We should have democracy all the way to the top, Within the House of Commons.
    Scrap the House of Lords or have Lords ELECTED.

  17. UCL have their own youtube? I wish Royal Holloway were as forward-thinking as this. Seriously, screw my university

  18. they'd get away with a majority of 323 not 326 as while the total number of seats may be 650 Sinn Fein has 5 seats and they refuse to take up their seats and take part in parliament so not much point counting them

  19. Fantastic video. I didn't know that UCL were producing these 'mini-lectures'. Being a King's student, I am slightly jealous

  20. When I first heard about this"hung parliment" I thought F*#~king good idea, where are they going to build the gallows?…….LOL.

  21. just an spectator, for the good and fairer United Kingdom-England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is to have their prime minister. Still believe LIB LAB SNP, Plyd, Green represents UK paliament since it's HUNG parliament. Tory did not win. I found it nauseting to read how bully the reporters and newspapers are.
    Tory is squabling to finally offer to LibDem the referendum AV after open talks to Labour. ha ha ha ha

  22. In a hung parliament you can find who's who ! The true identify of a person will be seen by public. All the true colours of the rascals and bitches will be in exibit !! Bastards true colours r out in the open. The funny part is these jokers are voted

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