Hung parliaments: Britain's past experience

7th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's opposition Conservatives were seeking a power-sharing deal with the small Liberal Democrat party on Friday after the general election left parliament deadlocked.

It is Britain's first hung parliament since 1974, but is not the first time since the beginning of the 20th century that Britain has grappled with a situation in which no party has an absolute majority.

Other hung parliaments were:


Prime Minister: Harold Wilson (Labour)

Composition: Labour and Conservatives

Lasted: Two years


Prime Minister: Ramsey MacDonald (Labour)

Composition: Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin's Conservatives won more seats than Labour but stepped aside for Labour's MacDonald

Lasted: 10 months


Prime Minister: Ramsey MacDonald (Labour)

Composition: Minority Labour government backed by Liberals

Lasted: until 1931, but amid the Great Depression, MacDonald formed 'National' coalition government of Conservatives, Liberals and small number of Labour MPs which won 1931 and 1935 elections.


Prime Minister: Herbert Asquith (Liberal Party)

Composition: Liberal Party in a minority government, with support of Labour and the Irish Nationalists. Then a coalition government from 1915.

Lasted: Six years

© 2010 AFP

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