UK exit polls point to hung Parliament


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07-05-2010 08:00 AM


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07-05-2010 08:00 AM



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UK exit polls point to hung Parliament -

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UK exit polls point to hung Parliament

Emma Alberici reported this story on Friday, May 7, 2010 08:00:00

TONY EASTLEY: If the polls and pundits are right Britain is on the verge of political history.

With voting now closed it's looking increasingly like the UK may be facing a hung Parliament with
the Conservatives and perhaps even Labour needing a deal with the minor parties to get a majority
in the Commons.

Our correspondent Emma Alberici is at the Conservative Party headquarters in London.

Emma good morning. These exit polls, what are they saying?

EMMA ALBERICI: Tony they are indicating a win in terms of number of seats for the Conservatives at
307 versus 255 to Labour. But that's still 19 seats short of what the Tories would need to govern
in their own right.

This exit poll is showing an enormous upset with just 59 seats to the Liberal Democrats.

TONY EASTLEY: So that must be a huge disappointment for the Lib Dems because they were given such
glowing reports earlier on.

EMMA ALBERICI: Indeed. Lib Dems Leader Nick Clegg was considered the game changer in this campaign.
What started off as a fairly kind of ho-hum affair was transformed by that first televised debate
when Nick Clegg reinvigorated some were saying British politics.

The fact that the Lib Dems have polled so badly in this exit poll, let's remember it is only an
exit poll, it's still is a massive blow to them. At 59 seats that's three less than they won at the
2005 election.

Now just in the last few minutes Tony the first seat has actually been declared. Horton and
Sunderland - it was a Labour seat and Labour has kept the seat. But interestingly the Lib Dem vote
is down 1 per cent.

TONY EASTLEY: So let's talk about those exit polls. Are people talking about how reliable they
might be?

EMMA ALBERICI: Well 18,000 people at 130 polling stations were surveyed. That's out of 44 million
registered voters. But still at the 2005 election the exit poll was spot on predicting that 66 seat
majority for Labour.

But what makes this one perhaps less reliable is that 25 per cent of voters cast postal votes and
they did so at the height of what was being called Clegg-mania. So perhaps that might indicate in
those postal votes a bigger vote for the Lib Dems.

TONY EASTLEY: Emma Alberici how have the major parties reacted? Have they had much to say about

EMMA ALBERICI: Well the most high profile member of any of the parties, Peter Mandelson the
Business Secretary has come out quite stridently saying that even though Labour only has 255 seats
Gordon Brown would think it is within his rights to form a government.

In other words they are talking about some sort of coalition perhaps with the Liberal Democrats.

Even so 255 plus 59 is still not enough for an outright majority. So of course the Conservatives
are calling it their way and everyone is pretty pleased by voter turnout at this particular
election which looks likely to have been around the 70 per cent mark.

Earlier in the day I spoke to some of those voters and let's hear what they had to say.

VOX POP 1: I voted Labour for the last two general elections and Lib Dem today.


VOX POP 1: I recognise there is a need for a change but I have never felt like a Conservative voter
and I still don't. And I just think it is genuinely exciting that Nick Clegg has got a chance. I am
actually quite looking forward to a hung Parliament.

EMMA ALBERICI: A lot of people are of course fearful of a hung Parliament.

VOX POP 1: There is no reason why government should be divided into parties with one party ruling
and the rest opposing. I think you should have the strengths and talents from across the board. I
think if that's what happens here it's only for the better.

VOX POP 2: Well, (inaudible) I am a floating voter.

EMMA ALBERICI: You are exactly the kind of person that all three parties were targeting right up
until yesterday. Can you tell us who you decided to vote for in the end?

VOX POP 2: Lib Dem.

TONY EASTLEY: A floater who has opted for the Liberal Democrats there. Emma Alberici is on the line
from London.

With the Conservatives with what, 307 seats based on that exit poll Emma, what's the mood and
atmosphere like there at Conservative Party headquarters where you are?

EMMA ALBERICI: Well I'm in a media centre. We've been sort of quarantined from the action. We are
not with any of the sort of main party movers and shakers.

But the Conservative media people who are hanging around look very tense and they are on
tenterhooks because you know it still could fall either way.

There have been discussions about whether the Tories might form some kind of Government with the
Ulster unionists in Northern Ireland. You know there's all these sorts of permutations and
combinations being discussed.

But everyone is still looking and sounding very nervous around here.

TONY EASTLEY: Emma Alberici our correspondent in London.