The Labour Party have rejected talks to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats after many Labour front and back benchers spoke out against any form of joint government agreement.
The Liberal Democrats stated that they would not enter negotiations with Labour until Gordon Brown resigned from his post of prime minister. With Labour now stepping aside, it is likely the Liberal Democrats will begin talks with the Conservatives over a possible coalition deal.
A Labour spokesperson stated the party will regroup as the only 'progressive' party.
Many Labour MPs came out saying that their party should respect the electorate and remain democratic, accepting defeat. Former health secretary Andy Burnham said that Labour had to ‘respect the results of the general election. We can't get away from the fact that Labour didn't win’.
Some prominent Labour figures - including David Blunkett and John Reid - had warned against a deal with the Liberal Democrats, over fears that the public would come back with a vengeance at the next general election if Labour continued to remain the party in power.
The Conservatives fell short of achieving a majority government at the general election and will now look to push for a Lib/Tory coalition. The Conservatives have already offered a referendum for the Alternate Vote, a key manifesto policy of the Liberal Democrats.
Shadow chancellor George Osborne said a weak coalition struggling to achieve a parliamentary majority was ‘not in the national interest’. He went on to say that ‘the Liberal Democrats want to change our voting system and we are making that offer.’
It is understood that the Liberal Democrats could gain up to six MPs to sit in a Conservative cabinet, with Nick Clegg as deputy prime minister.
David Cameron is expected to be invited by the Queen to form a new government later this evening, with the outcome still largely unknown.