The election is over in the UK, but the byzantine maneuvering to create a government is just beginning. With the vast majority of results in, the BBC is predicting:
Tory - 306
Liberal Democrats: 55
To form a government, there must be a party - or a coalition of parties - holding 326 seats. The Labour Party, which has deconstructed Britain over its past 13 years of socialist rule, still managed to lose only 100 seats. And even though the Tories will be by far the largest party in Parliament, the fact is that the Labour may well be able to retain power through a coalition with the Lib Dems - also a far left party - and a few of the far left minor parties. This from the BBC:
Gordon Brown may start coalition talks with the Lib Dems, who, Nick Clegg admitted, had a "disappointing night" .
The BBC projection suggests David Cameron's Conservatives will have 306 seats. If there are 10 Unionists elected in Northern Ireland then Mr Cameron might be able to command 316 - probably still slightly too few for him to be sure of winning a Queen's Speech.
But Labour and the Lib Dems together would have 317 seats, according to the BBC figures, which even with three SDLP MPs would still leave them at 320 - again probably just a few votes short.
So everything is still at issue - though Labour has a slight advantage. All of this is truly horrendous. David Cameron, who has misled the Tory Party for a decade, attempting to turn it into a light version of Labour, has managed to pull defeat from the jaws of what should have been a victory so thorough as to have banished Labour the halls of government for a decade or more. You could track the recent downward spiral of the Tory party towards this election from the date the boywonder officially reneged on his promise to hold a referendum on the issue of EU.
Assuming Labour forms the next government, Cameron should be booted so fast from the Tory leadership his head should spin. The Tories need to replace him with someone who is actually a conservative and who will actually be governed by his ideals rather than pure political calculation, though it might already be too late. Labour has so deconstructed Britain that it may well be the damage it has wrought cannot be undone. A few more years of Labour misrule - or Cameron misrule for that matter - will like insure the damage is permanent.
Update: It appears that the Lib Dems have already slapped down Gordon Brown and Labour, saying that the Tories should have the first opportunity to form a government. That is code for "make me an offer."