Britain is facing weeks of political deadlock as both main parties seemed set to fall far short of a majority in Thursday’s election.
Despite the last coalition government being put together in a matter of days in 2010, the results this time around are expected to make things far less clear-cut.
Tensions between previous partners the Tories and Lib Dems exploded into the open when Tory leader David Cameron was branded a “liar” as the junior coalition party in the out-going government said his public claims of being able to gain a majority in the House of Commons were the opposite of his private admissions.
Cameron admitted the Lib Dems were “just as likely” to team up with Labour as the Tories after the election results were in as he desperately attempted to shore up conservative support by saying Labour leader Ed Miliband would be held hostage by the Scottish Nationalist Party in a hung parliament.
Miliband hit back by insisting the Tories had secret plans to slash welfare spending and further privatise the NHS if they got back into power as he again insisted he would not cut an informal deal with the SNP.
Labour was reported to have already opened back- channel talks with the Lib Dems about how to oust Cameron as prime minister if the neck-and-neck polls prove correct and the Tories emerge as the largest party by a nose, but still some 50 seats short of the 326 MPs needed to command a majority in the Commons.
Addressing a campaign rally in Bath, Cameron urged activists to take his warning of the “massive risk” of putting Labour in charge of the economy to doorsteps in key seats.
“Whether it is the choice on plan, the choice on teams, the choice on leaders, the choice on deficit, the choice on taxes, all the arguments are going our way,” Cameron declared, despite all opinion polls suggesting neither main party is on course to secure an overall Commons majority.
“When you are in the voting booth, with that stubby pencil in your hand, ask yourself this question: Do I trust Ed Miliband to run the British economy?” he said to cries of “no” from activists.
It came as Tories furiously denied the Lib Dem claims the Mr Camoran had made the admission to Mr Clegg that the Conservatives had no hope of a majority.
However, in a rare piece of good news for Clegg, it looked as if Labour’s aim to “decapitate” the Lid Dems by ousting him from his Sheffield seat would fail due to massive tactical voting by conservative voters in the constituency.
The oldest Conservative think tank, the Bow Group, has urged Tory supporters to back Nigel Farage and other Ukip candidates in seats where the eurosceptic party is best-placed to defeat Labour as it says that Tory claims it can achieve a majority are aiding Miliband.
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