Shaking up the electoral system
Is the UK election outcome a sign of a faulty voting system that is in need of reform?
Last Modified: 10 May 2010 13:03 GMT

For the first time in 36 years the UK's general election has resulted in a hung parliament, causing political uncertainty.

The main opposition party, the Conservatives, won the most seats in parliament for the first time in 13 years, but they did not secure the crucial 326 seats needed for an outright majority over the incumbent Labour party.

This has presented Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats, the UK's third-largest party, with a rare opportunity.

It holds the balance of power because it can choose which of the bigger parties to support in parliament, and it is using its new leverage to push for a change in the British electoral system.

On Saturday hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Liberal Democrat party headquarters in London to demand a change to the voting system.

Is the outcome of the election a sign of a faulty voting system that is in need of reform? Would the people of the UK accept a proportional representation system if a referendum is held? Meanwhile, can politicians afford to grind to a halt in the face of the biggest budget deficit in modern history? 

Joining the programme are Vincent Moss, the political editor of the Sunday Mirror newspaper, Howard Wheeldon, a senior strategist at BGC Partners, and Anthony Howard, a veteran political commentator.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, May 9, 2010.

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