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Who will be Prime Minister if we have a hung parliament?

Here's all you need to know if the seat predictions are accurate for the General Election 2017

A hung parliament is predicted for the result of this year's General Election results, according to the exit polls .

In government, we could see the Tories the largest party with 314 seats, if the predictions are correct.

Conservatives are not predicted to gain the overall majority, as Labour are expected to secure 266 seats, Lib Dems 14 and SNP 34.

There are 650 seats up for grabs in total, so a party needs 326 seats for a majority.

The last time there was a hung parliament in 2010, the Conservatives and Lib Dems formed a Coalition government with David Cameron Prime Minister and Nick Clegg his Deputy.

What could happen this time around?

According to the Mirror , if the exit poll is anywhere close to being accurate, Theresa May's position as leader of the Conservatives is untenable.

That would mean a fresh vote for a Tory leader could happen before any coalition pact is agreed.

Conservatives and Lib Dems

Prime Minister Theresa May(Image: Evening Gazette)

Prime Minister: Theresa May/Tory leader

Deputy Prime Minister: Tim Farron

Mathematically, this would be the most simple scenario.

A Tory/Lib Dem coalition would have 328 seats, a comfortable majority to be able to pass laws.

Realistically however, it seems extremely unlikely.

The Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has said repeatedly he is not interested in a "deal" to form a coalition government.

The parties are poles apart on what was meant to be the core issue of the campaign; Brexit .

Theresa May has pushed for a hard Brexit while Tim Farron pledged a second referendum in the hope of reversing the result.

Speaking on the BBC tonight, Lib Dem peer Sir Ming Campbell described a coalition deal with the Tories as "impossible".

How likely? 2/10

Conservatives and the SNP

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outside the polling station at Broomhouse Community Hall in Glasgow(Image: PA)

Prime Minister: Theresa May/Tory leader

Deputy Prime Minister: Nicola Sturgeon

Again, this would mathematically be a straightforward.

Politically, it looks extremely unlikely.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has clashed frequently with the Conservatives, particularly over Brexit.

Scotland voted in favour of remaining in the EU and Sturgeon has asked for a second referendum on Scotland leaving the UK as a result.

Mrs Sturgeon recently said: "I don’t want to see Tory governments and Tory prime ministers, I think they do real damage to Scotland."

How likely? 1/10

Labour plus SNP plus Others

Jeremy Corbyn greeting supporters in Colwyn Bay on the last day of campaigning for the General Election 2017(Image: Daily Post Wales)

Prime Minister: Jeremy Corbyn

Deputy Prime Minister: Nicola Sturgeon/Tim Farron

As mentioned, the SNP have appeared warmer to the idea of a Coalition with Labour than anyone else.

However, leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would not do a deal to get into Number 10, especially with the SNP.

“There will be no coalition deal with the SNP and a Labour government," he said in April.

“The SNP may talk left at Westminster, but in government in Scotland it acts right."

“A genuinely progressive party would not refuse to introduce a 50p top rate of income tax on the richest.

“The SNP wants to break up the UK; it has no interest in making it work better.

“Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity in Scotland – not progressive politics.”

His shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry seemed less clearcut on the issue.

She suggested the party could enter talks with the SNP and others such as the Lib Dems and Greens and put together a potential blueprint for a coalition government.

"If we end up in a position where we are in a minority, we will go ahead and we will put forward a Queen’s Speech and a Budget," she said.

"If people want to vote for it, then good.

"If they don’t want to vote for it, they are going to have to go back and speak to their constituents and explain to them why it is that we have a Tory government instead."

This scenario also depends hugely on the exact number of seats won by each party.

Based on the exit poll, Labour and the SNP would only have 300 and would need another 23 to form a government.

That means others such as the Greens and Northern Ireland's parties the DUP and SDLP.

According to the BBC, Green party leader Caroline Lucas has already indicated a willingness to back a Labour-led government.

How likely? 5/10

Have we had a hung parliament and what happened before?

David Cameron (L) talks to pupils during a visit at Reach Academy Feltham on July 12, 2016 in London, England.

Yes - in 2010 , which is why the Tories and Lib Dems formed a coalition.

Before that the last hung parliament was in 1974 , when Tory Ted Heath just edged out Labour's Harold Wilson.

The government only lasted eight months and there had to be a fresh election.

Britain's also had hung parliaments in 1929 and 1910 .

How will it get worked out?

(Image: PA)

One way or another, the parties have to group together so they have enough votes to pass laws.

This took a few days in 2010, as the Lib Dems talked to the Tories and Labour before thrashing out a deal with the Conservatives.

That experience is fresh in the memory for all the parties concerned. The Lib Dems suffered disastrous election results in 2015 after five years in Government.

And with Theresa May returning to the " coalition of chaos " scare tactics which appeared two years ago it is understandable parties are wary of aligning themselves too closely with rivals.

So what are the options?

Coalition

David Cameron

This is the most stable system and it's what happened in 2010.

It means including a smaller party in the government and turning its senior members into ministers, like Vince Cable or Nick Clegg.

All parties have been talking down the prospect of any formal coalition during the 2017 campaign.

Confidence and supply

This is less formal than a coalition - and that means it's also less stable.

'Confidence' means a smaller party supports the government in a vote of no confidence which would boot it out of power.

'Supply' means a smaller party supplies the government with money by voting for, or abstaining on, the budget every year.

But on other votes the government would have less power, so the PM could remain in Number 10 despite losing on key issues.

Vote-by-vote

(Image: PA)

This is an even looser arrangement - so it's one of the most unstable.

It means a government relying on a smaller party's support for some laws but not for others.

So if the SNP backed Labour, it might vote for laws where the parties see eye-to-eye like the NHS but not on major issues like the budget .

In the past, that would've been enough to make a government collapse and force a second election .

But thanks to a 2011 law all Parliaments are fixed for 5 years - although two years on from the last election, we've all seen how effectively that has worked out.

So it does provide a bit more stability, but there are still two ways an election can be called before the end of a five year term.

The first is a vote of no confidence , which would be bad PR for a ruling party to back.

The second is if two-thirds of MPs back an early election , which is what happened after Theresa May called a snap election .

That means - in theory - there could be a deadlock where the PM is in Downing Street despite not being able to pass their budgets.

Minority government

Here's the most high risk option.

Labour or the Tories could decide to go it alone and hope their rivals won't risk the country by voting down the Queen's Speech.

That is the option Labour appears to favour if they are the largest party but do not have an overall majority.

Many smaller parties are left-wing, so they'd rather support Labour than the Tories.

The history isn't good though. Tory Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin's 1924 King's Speech was defeated by 72 votes.

He resigned the next morning and Ramsay MacDonald formed the first Labour government, but that only lasted nine months.

Second election

There'll be a second election if every option fails.

It'd probably take place before Christmas and it would cost a packet.

Never mind all the uncertainty in the economy and what we do about Brexit negotiations in the meantime - there's the cost of all those mailouts, TV adverts, polling stations and ballot papers to think about.

The 2010 general election cost a staggering £113million, and that's just public money. Millions more were spent by the parties themselves - £39million in the 2015 election.

But hey, we haven't had enough votes in the last three years.

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