United Kingdom general election, 2010

United Kingdom General Election, 2010

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United Kingdom general election, 2010

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The United Kingdom general election of 2010 was held on Thursday 6 May 2010 to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority. The Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, won the largest number of votes and seats but still fell twenty seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons. This was only the second general election since World War II to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 1974 election. But unlike then, the potential for a hung parliament had this time been widely considered and predicted and therefore the country was better prepared for the constitutional process that would follow such a result. The coalition government that was subsequently formed was the first coalition in British history to eventuate directly from an election outcome.

Coalition talks began immediately between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and lasted for five days. There was an aborted attempt to put together a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition (although other smaller parties would have been required to make up the ten seats they lacked for a majority). To facilitate this Gordon Brown announced on the evening...
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