1. Who won the UK Election?
No-one. You have to get 326 seats (>50% of available seats) to win government. The Conservative Party was closest but fell 20 seats short of a majority.
2. Who is the Prime Minister of the UK?
No-one. Well actually it’s still Gordon Brown, but technically the Prime Minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. But as we don’t have a government in the UK, Brown is just keeping the seat warm till some coalition can come to agreement and form a government.
3. What is the Pound Sterling (GBP) worth?
Nothing. Or almost nothing. The pound hit a 1 year low yesterday, and is continuing to decline against the US dollar. The only thing cushioning the fall of the pound is the even-worse performance of the Euro thanks to junk European debt.
4. When are we likely to have a stable government?
Unknown. The Conservative Party (Tories) are talking to the Liberal Democrats, but of the main issues important to the Lib Dems, they are at odds with the Conservatives on almost all of them. On Europe, immigration, defence, tax threshold and electoral reform, the Tories reject all of the Lib Dem policies.
5. What are the alternatives to a Tory-Lib Dem coalition?
Nil, or at best slim. If Labour go in to a Coalition with the Lib Dems, they fall 11 seats short of a majority. Even if Labour also brought in the Social Democratic Labour Party as part of a three-way coalition, they still wouldn’t have enough seats to hit the majority. Alternatively, the Conservatives could form a minority government, but this is likely to result in slower passage of legislation as bills need the support of a range of different party interests in order to be passed.
BONUS QUESTION: What does this mean for business investment, public sector jobs, unemployment, health and all other issues of interest in the community?
Nothing. You will be required to deal with these issues regardless of how long it takes to establish a stable government. You may not be able to change things for a bit but that’s not exactly new.
(Apologies and thanks to Douglas Adams for inspiring this post.)
EDIT: Thanks to @trib for his suggestion of how to deal with this: