London: Under pressure to reach an
understanding on government formation, the Conservatives and
the Liberal Democrats were trying to hammer out a power-
sharing deal amidst reports that a decision was expected later on Monday.
Apart from public anxiety over the delay, there is
much concern over the impact the hung verdict and subsequent
political uncertainty would have on the financial markets.
There are fears that the pound and shares would suffer
if a deal was not done by the time markets opened today, but
early indications are that the FTSE 100 index of London`s
leading shares leapt more than 4 per cent, suggesting that
traders saw the EU deal over a fund to stop the Greek debt
crisis spreading as much more significant than the uncertainty
Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg asked people to
`bear with us` a bit longer and said all political parties
were "working flat out" to find a solution after the May 6
elections resulted in a hung parliament.
Chancellor Alistair Darling, who continues in office
until a new government takes over, said he hoped a decision
was reached on Monday.
He told the BBC: "I don`t think it would do any good
to let this process drag on. I understand that the Liberals
and the Conservatives are engaged in talks today, I hope by
the end of today they will decide whether they can do a deal
According to new guidelines, the formation of the new
government should take place by 25 May, the day of the Queen’s
Speech to the new House of Commons.
The guidelines have been put in place before the
election by cabinet secretary Gus O`Donnell, who anticipated a
The time until May 25 is designed to allow the three
main parties to try and reach agreement to see who can form a
The new guidelines are designed to try and ensure that
the country is not forced to immediately go to the polls again
almost in the event of no one party winning an overall Commons