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Hung Parliaments and the Need for Clearer Rules of Government Formation

Schleiter, P; Belu, V; Hazell, R; (2017) Hung Parliaments and the Need for Clearer Rules of Government Formation. Political Quarterly , 88 (3) pp. 404-411. 10.1111/1467-923X.12399. Green open access

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Abstract

The general elections of 2017 and 2010 produced hung parliaments in which no single party could command an overall majority; in May 2015 the UK only narrowly avoided that outcome. When a parliament is hung, more than one potential government can be viable, and the constitutional rules that determine who has the first right to form the government can thus have a decisive influence on which government forms. In the past, the UK has applied several potentially contradictory rules (based on conventions and principles), which do not all follow an equally democratic logic. This status quo is problematic because it can generate political controversy and uncertainty, in addition to jeopardising the Monarch's role in the government formation process. A reform that enables parliament to elect the leader who will be tasked with the formation of the next government would resolve these problems and provide constitutional clarity.

Type: Article
Title: Hung Parliaments and the Need for Clearer Rules of Government Formation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-923X.12399
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12399
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Political Science, Government & Law, government formation, hung parliament, recognition rules, formateur selection, minority government, coalition formation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571973
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