The rocky road to British power-sharing government

12th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Here is a timeline of Britain's five days of political limbo, from knife-edge May 6 elections to Tuesday's appointment of Conservative leader David Cameron to succeed Gordon Brown as prime minister.


10:00 pm - Voting closes. Exit poll shows Britain has a hung parliament, with Conservatives the biggest party, ruling Labour second and Liberal Democrats third


3:00 am - Conservative leader David Cameron says Labour has lost "mandate" to govern

10:40 am - Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says Conservatives have first right to try to form a government

2:40 pm - Cameron says he wants to make a "big, open and comprehensive offer" to the Lib Dems to form government

Evening - Conservative and Lib Dem negotiators hold first meeting


8.35 pm - Party sources say Cameron and Clegg had "constructive and amicable" face-to-face meeting. Negotiators also met

11:20 pm - Lib Dems say Clegg and Brown had telephone conversation


11:00 am - Conservative and Liberal Democrat negotiators resume talks

2:00 pm - Brown returns to Downing Street from Scotland and indicates he has not given up hope of carrying on in government

5:40 pm - Conservative negotiator William Hague hails "positive and productive" talks with Lib Dems. Both parties stress economy will be at heart of any programme, in attempt to reassure financial markets

8:35 pm - Parties confirm Cameron and Clegg met for a second time


10:00 am - Liberal Democrat and Conservative teams resume negotiations

10:00 am - Clegg says party leaders are "working flat out" to reach a deal

3:30 pm - Lib Dem negotiator David Laws gives first indication that party's lawmakers are unhappy with Conservative offer

5:00 pm - Brown announces he will step down as Labour leader -- effectively sacrificing himself for his party -- and that Labour will start formal talks with the Lib Dems on forming a "progressive" government

7:15 pm - Hague says Tories will offer a referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) electoral system to the Lib Dems as final power-sharing offer

Evening: First formal talks between Lib Dems and Labour


8:45 am - Cameron says it is "decision time" for Lib Dems. Clegg says power-sharing talks are entering a "critical and final phase"

10:00 am - Talks between Lib Dems and Labour resume

2:00 pm - Talks between Lib Dems and the Conservatives resume

4:00 pm - Media reports suggest Labour-Lib Dem talks have failed

7:20 pm - Brown announces his resignation, ending 13 years of New Labour government

8:30 pm - Queen Elizabeth II appoints Cameron as new British PM

8:45 pm - In Downing Street, Cameron confirms he plans to govern with "strong and stable" coalition with Lib Dems

10:00 pm - Conservatives George Osborne and William Hague confirmed as finance minister and foreign minister respectively


12.15 am - Clegg hails "new kind of government" after Lib Dems approve deal

© 2010 AFP

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