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Antique Political System is Left Creaking

By Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian - May 7, 2010

The mother of parliaments was showing her age as election day turned into the morning after. In the early hours, as the uncertainty of the election result deepened, every aspect of the antique British political system seemed to be creaking under the strain.

The loudest screech came from a constitutional setup that, it suddenly became clear, was not so much stuck in the 19th century as the medieval era. With both the initial exit poll and the early results pointing to a hung parliament, Labour and Conservative politicians began duelling over who would get to wield power if such a situation persisted beyond daybreak. The Tories said Gordon Brown had no right to continue in power; Labour insisted he could stay in Downing Street so long as the Conservatives lacked an overall majority.

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