UK General Election 2010 What constitutes a majority in the House of Commons?

7 May 2010

Mr Cameron’s Conservatives have not reached overall majority, but the de facto majority in the House of Commons must be lower than the figure of 326. From the total of 650 MPs, it’s possible to deduct the Speaker and the 3 Deputy Speakers for party political purposes. Sinn Féin has already won in four constituencies and is probably going to win in Fermanagh & South Tyrone. The party usually does not sit or take active part in the Commons. So in actual fact, the total number of politically active MPs must be 641. Hence the majority in the Commons, it can be argued, is 321 seats. It’s not much of a comfort for the Tories, since they wouldn’t even reach this figure.

At the moment, a stable government is only possible if the Tories and the Liberal Democrats were to come to an undersatnding, or to form a coalition. A minority Tory government is also an option, albeit somewhat less stable. The Conservatives have a comfortable majority in the English constituencies, so they should be able to pass bills that only affect England such as health and education, and not the devolved areas. Otherwise, the West Lothian question will become too acute for the parties to handle. However, the Tories will have to come to an arrangement with other parties on the fiscal policies and big issues such as defence.

There is a hung parliament. Where’s the predicted financial meltdown? No evidence so far to collaborate it, but then, perhaps I’ve written too early.

PS: Sinn Féin won in Fermanagh & South Tyrone by 4 votes. I realized that the dynamic in Fermanagh & South Tyrone had changed, because the DUP and UCU have agreed to support one candidate.

PPS: Markets are tumbling and the sterling is taking a pounding (sorry, always wanted to write that).