The Great Debate UK
– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
Fears of a hung parliament following the UK’s general election may be overstated. With Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s third largest party, performing well in the first prime ministerial debate, sterling has received a mild knock. Investors do not like the uncertainty that goes with a hung parliament. While many European countries are used to coalition government, the UK is traditionally a two-party system – with government swinging between Labour and the Conservatives.
Added to this uncertainty is the fact that none of the three parties has come up with a credible plan for cutting the government’s deficit, which stands at 12 percent of GDP. One fear is that valuable months could be lost in horse-trading over forming the next government. Another is that a minority government could embark on a populist, but expensive, programme to prepare the ground for a second election later this year.
The hung parliament scenario is really two sub-scenarios. In the first, the party with the largest number of seats would govern on its own. This is probably what would happen if the Tories were the largest party. Such a government might well be unstable.
– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –
Crisis, what crisis? That could be motto for the election manifestos published by Britain’s main political parties this week. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives addressed the country’s fiscal crisis head-on.
from UK News:
Britain's first live television debates between the leaders of the three mainstream political parties are not the only new feature to add spice to the upcoming general election, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced will be held on May 6.
The 2010 vote is also the first time politicians and their strategy teams have had to factor in the micro-blogging site Twitter.com. The social media tool, which did not exist at the time of the last election in 2005, now has over 75 million users who between them sent four billion tweets in the first quarter of 2010.