The results of not yet complete out of today’s UK election. But the broad outlines are coming into view. And that view is messy.
It’s a big win for the Tories. But they look very unlikely to achieve an absolute majority or even come close enough to an absolute majority that they could cobble together a majority government with a mix of unionists from Northern Ireland and right-wing minor parties. That said, even if Labour and the Lib Dems could find a basis for a coalition government, it doesn’t seem like they’ll have enough MPs between them to do so. So if those numbers hold it’s sort of like a double-hung parliament. Of course, some minor shifts could change the picture significantly.
What reminds me of Bush v. Gore is the jousting and muscling for one or another to just get out. The Tories are making dramatic statements about Labour’s “humiliating” defeat and that, as David Cameron said, it’s “clear that the Labour government has lost its mandate to govern.”
Don’t get me wrong. Those statements are hard to quibble with. But obviously numbers should speak for themselves. But it’s in these cases where the actual result is unknown but also ambiguous that you’ve got these chest-thumping efforts to force the other guy off the stage, to create a fait accompli where the votes won’t quite do it themselves.
You can watch the latest numbers and BBC video feed here.