Talks between the UK’s Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have collapsed, various sources are reporting. The Evening Standard says Labor leader and Prime Minister Gordon Brown will resign tonight. The LibDems are supposedly set to make a governing pact with the Tories, which would make Conservative Party leader David Cameron Britain’s new Prime Minister.
After the recent national election, Labour holds 258 seats, the Tories have 306, and the Lib Dems hold 57 seats. A Tory/LibDem coalition could form a majority government, but Labour and the LibDems would’ve needed local nationalist and socialist parties to join a coalition.
The Lib Dems may not form a full-blown coalition with the Tories. Another strong possibility is something called “confidence and supply,” which forms a minority government that isn’t in constant danger of a vote of no confidence dissolving the government.
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And in case you want to know just how goofy Parliamentary democracy can get, make sure to read this Guardian article, which begins by inexpertly translating a slip of paper that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg made some notes on and concludes by saying a Lib Dem/Labour pact was impossible because of bad body language by cranky Labour MPs.
Update: And Gordon Brown has stepped down, ending 13 years of New Labour rule in the UK. Brown’s driving to Buckingham Palace to formally resign. David Cameron will meet the Queen soon afterward to be appointed PM.