The Tories are today Monday 8th February 2010 uncertain of a parliamentary majority at an election, The "poll of polls" in the Independent, a weighted average of polls conducted by ComRes, ICM, YouGov, Populus and Ipsos Mori showed the Tories lead has been cut down to single figures. Tories 39 percent, down a point from last month, with Labour up one point at 30 percent, based on an election date of May 6th, could leave no single party with an overall majority. In effect a hung parliament.
The third-placed Liberal Democrats, unchanged at 19 percent, would then hold the balance of power. Faced with the prospect of the gap between the two leaders narrowing Gordon Brown could opt for a snap early election. Brown only having to give 17 days notice of such a move!
The Independent poll followed an ICM survey in the Sunday Telegraph showing the Conservatives 14 seats short of a majority in the Commons, if the result were repeated on election day. It would be the first time there has been no outright winner in a British election since the mid 1970s.
Taking no chances, the Civil Service have already put in place systems to cope with the political fall out and enforced alliances a hung parliament would create. For the first time the Queen will be presented with a written document clearly setting out her powers whcih are substantially increased when a hung parliament is in place.
The Queen for example has reserve powers and could in theory call for another snap election, if she didn't like a particular party leader and ask the country to select another who would possibly gain an overall majority. Such a move is thought to be unlikely as the Queen usually steps back from the day-to-day wqorkings of her Government, but we live in strange times.
Her Majesty has seen it all before and might now decide that a few heads need banging together at Westminster, especially after the prolonged MPs' Expenses scandal which has seen her parliament being branded internationally as a school for thieves and wholesale ransacking of the public purse.
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