Elections | 06.04.2010
British election on May 6 could lead to a hung parliament
Tuesday started with the formalities. Prime Minister Gordon Brown went to Buckingham Palace to seek the approval of Queen Elizabeth II for his election plans. He could then announce that "the queen has kindly agreed to the dissolution of parliament, and a general election will take place on May 6th."
But after the formalities it was straight into campaigning mode. As Britain recovers from the worst economic storm in decades, it's economic issues that will dominate the run-up to polling day. And Brown hopes to position his Labour government as a steady hand on the tiller in waters which are still choppy.
Britain needs stability, says Labour
"Britain is on the road to recovery," he said, "and nothing we do should put that recovery at risk. There will be many big challenges and many big decisions to make over the next few months, upon which our future success depends."
The opposition Conservatives may lead in the opinion polls, but they're ahead by only a few points. The close race could mean that Britain could see a hung Parliament and the rare sight of British parties attempting to form a coalition government.
Britain needs change, say the Conservatives
Conservative leader David Cameron hopes to avoid that scenario by gaining voters' trust and launching what may become a personal campaign against the weaknesses of the Prime Minister.
"It's the most important general election for a generation," he said after the date was announced, "and it comes down to this: you don't have to put up with another five years of Gordon Brown."
Labour are prepared to hit back on a personal level too. They hope to portray David Cameron as a privately educated, upper-class, establishment figure who doesn't understand ordinary people. Over the next few weeks, Gordon Brown will be repeating that he comes from an ordinary middle-class family from an ordinary town.
Either way, Britain needs us, say the Liberal Democrats
But with a hung Parliament a real possibility, a lot of attention is being focused on Britain's third party, the Liberal Democrats. They may hold the balance of power if either Labour or the Conservatives has to try to form a coalition government.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is therefore hoping his party can pick up more votes than might normally be expected.
"It's not a two horse race between the two old parties," he said. "People have got a real choice this time, and that's why this election is wide open: all bets are off."
The Labour party has been in power for 13 years - so the main opposition parties are focussing on "change" in their campaigns. But Labour's strategy is to persuade Britain that now, in the midst of an economic recovery, what is needed most is stability and it's exactly the wrong time for change.
Author: Olly Barratt, London (mll)
Editor: Rob Turner
adj. - 吊的, 挂的
- hung jury 未能作出裁定的陪審團
- hung parliament 未能作出裁定的議會
- hung jury 不一致陪審
- hung parliament 不一致議会