Thursday the 7th of May has come down to this. After nearly six weeks of campaigning, and hearing pitches from politicians, people across the UK are making their ways to the polls to tick the box to who they believe should form the next government.
The polls will close at 10pm, and then what will follow will be the question of how the next session of Parliament will form. Of 650 seats, 326 are needed to get a majority, with polls, notably the latest from YouGov, suggesting that won’t be the case. The poll indicates the Conservatives will get 284 seats, Labour will get 263 seats, and the Liberal Democrats will get 31. The SNP will get 48, Plaid Cymru will get 3 and UKIP will get 2.
— YouGov (@YouGov) May 6, 2015
A question of government
Going into tonight’s results, a multitude of questions emerge, specifically on the subject of the SNP and UKIP, with the SNP looking to overtake Labour in some areas of Scotland, and UKIP looking to possibly splitting the Conservative vote in England, per a report from the Reuters news agency.
Yet the most immediate question is the form of government—which is likely to result in a hung parliament, the second time in five years, and the third time in 41 years (the last before 2010 taking place in 1974, with Edward Heath trying to form a government with 297 seats for the Conservatives, 301 seats for Labour and 14 seats for the Liberals—Labour’s Harold Wilson would form a government before calling another election in October that year).
There are many forms of how a government could come to mind. Should David Cameron and the Conservatives have the most seats, the question is what party they will likely discuss a coalition with. A report in The Guardian earlier this week suggested that the Conservatives may form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.
Additionally, there were also questions on the possibility of a coalition between the Liberal Democrats and Labour, should that circumstance arise. The BBC reported earlier this week of that possibility, saying that option would allow for a government led by Ed Miliband to be recognised as legitimate by the voters. Yet, a Labour spokesperson quoted by the BBC had insisted that they were still focused on winning a majority from tonight’s results.
The voice of the people
However, Nick Clegg, in an interview this past Sunday with Andrew Marr, suggested that no party would win outright, including the Conservatives and Labour.
“No one is going to win,” Clegg said. “I know Ed Miliband and David Cameron go round robotically saying that they’re going to win. They’re not and they know it.”
Tonight is no ordinary election night. There is no indication on who will get the most seats by the time the polling stations have closed, and whatever form the next government may be after tonight, it may change the political direction of the UK completely.
For now, the ball is in the court of the people…and their immediate question is which box to tick.
What do you think? Do you have any predictions for tonight’s results? Have your say in the comments section below.