BRITAIN has woken up to the unexpected news of a hung parliament several times in the past.
But what exactly is it and what happens after it’s declared? Here’s what we know…
What is a hung parliament?
A hung parliament is declared if no party wins an outright majority by securing more seats than all the other parties combined.
In the UK, a party must win 326 of the 650 seats to secure an absolute majority.
What happens after a hung parliament is declared?
The party with the most seats can choose to either form a coalition – as the Tories did with the LibDems in 2010– or rule as a minority government,as Theresa May has pledged to do this time around.
In the case of the latter, the winning party – the Tories, again – will be reliant on the support of at least one smaller party – in this case, the DUP – to pass legislature through Parliament.
If both options fail, Parliament can be dissolved and a fresh election called.
What hung parliaments have taken place in the UK?
In total, there have only been six hung parliament scenarios in the UK since the beginning of the 20th century.
In 2017, former Prime Minister Theresa May’s gamble in calling an early general election backfired spectacularly leading to a hung parliament.
Since 1929 there have only been two UK General Elections that resulted in hung parliaments – in 1974 and 2010.
The General Election in 1992 saw exit polls predict a hung parliament but the Tories held onto a slim majority.
Another one occurred in 1974, as well as in 2010 when David Cameron was forced to form a coalition with the Lib Dems.