Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said it would be “preposterous” for Gordon Brown to stay on as prime minister should his Labour Party come in third in the popular vote in Britain’s election next May 6.
After the British party leaders debated on television for the first time two weeks ago, Clegg emerged as a serious contender to both major parties. The Liberal Democrats are now set to win more votes than they ever have yet Britain’s archaic electoral system will probably deny them much seats in Parliament. In spite of Labour’s waning popularity, it might well come out as the biggest party once again.
“There are now indications Labour might come third in terms of people voting for the different parties,” Clegg told the BBC yesterday. “It is just preposterous, the idea that if a party comes third in terms of the number of votes it still somehow has the right to carry on squatting in No. 10,” the premier’s Downing Street office, “and continue to lay claim to having the prime minister.”
The election is increasingly likely to produce a hung parliament, one in which neither party manages to gain an overall majority. Both Labour and the Conservatives will probably try to come to a coalition with the Liberal Democrats under such circumstances. Although Clegg is said to sympathize with the Tories personally, his party leans more to the left and prefers to work with Labour. Read more “Clegg: Brown Can’t Stay If Labour Loses”
The leaders of the three major British political parties debated foreign policy on Sky News tonight. Questions from the audience quickly steered the discussion in a more domestic direction but the politicians were able to present their views on the European Union, the special relationship with the United States, climate change and defense. Read more “British Party Leaders Debate Foreign Policy”
Tonight ITV hosted the first televised debate between the leaders of Britain’s three major parties in the run-up to next month’s parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his foremost contender, Conservative foreman David Cameron attacked each other repeatedly while Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg tried to present himself as a fresh alternative to the traditional powers, promising to put “people before politics.”
As the politicians answered questions from the audience, the economy quickly emerged as a major point of contention with Brown defending his government’s policies and Cameron leading the charge against them. The Labour leader opined that it would be wholly irresponsible to cut on expenditures this year. “Private investment can’t do it alone,” he warned. “Pull out the money and you will have less growth, less jobs and less businesses.”
The Conservatives have more faith in the private sector of course and Cameron properly sided with businessowners who are struggling to keep their companies afloat in difficult times. If entrepreneurs can cut on expenses, he wondered, why can’t the government?
As Brown and Cameron continued to blame one another for supposedly not sharing all of the facts, Clegg bluntly opined that the Treasury is running out of money and that certain measures are unavoidable. He argued for a tax on banks and declared that Britain should not be replacing its Trident nuclear system any time soon. Read more “British Party Leaders Debate”
Just a few months ago, the British Conservatives had this year’s parliamentary election in their pockets. After more than ten years of Labour rule, Britons were tired with Gordon Brown while opposition foreman David Cameron lured as a fresh, “green right” alternative who promised to restore fiscal responsibility and British pride altogether.
The Conservatives polled at their best two years ago, scoring a 20 percent lead over Labour at the time. Since the end of last year however, their popularity has been on the decline.
While still set to win the elections, it appears unlikely that the Conservatives will manage to gain a majority. In the event of such a “hung parliament,” there is a good chance, writes Peter Oborne for the Daily Mail, that the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s third party, will end up keeping Labour in power.
The Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg has promised that if neither of his opponents win an overall majority in the House of Commons, he will support whichever collects the highest number of seats. Read more “Gordon Brown’s Chance at Victory”