Hung Parliament 'Very Likely': Heseltine

A hung parliament at the next general election is "very likely", a senior Tory has said.

Lord Heseltine, a former deputy prime minister, said David Cameron's Conservatives would need the largest electoral swing, "with two exceptions, since the war" to gain a majority in the Commons.

The peer said he would not be joining a future Tory cabinet, insisting Mr Cameron "does not need 77-year-olds in his government".

"Any advice we can give is free and available and welcome... but you mustn't think in terms of recruiting people like me," he said.

Lord Heseltine lauded Mr Cameron's work as leader, suggesting the odds on him becoming the next prime minister are "significant".

"But the overall majority is a mountain to climb and I think he's been absolutely right in making this point clear."

He said it is his belief Labour will not have the strength to form another government.

"Then you come to another problem - there are not many parties... that will form any sort of relationship with the Conservatives, so the Conservatives have got to win outright or be sufficiently the largest party that there isn't a coalition against them and they face the House of Commons, which of course will mean a relatively short parliament," Lord Heseltine told the BBC.

A hung parliament is one in which no one political party has an outright majority.

In the 1974 General Election, incumbent Prime Minister Edward Heath initially refused to resign, and instead worked to build a coalition government.

His party won fewer seats than the then opposition Labour Party, despite gaining more votes.

It is likely the Lib Dems would hold the swing of power in any future hung parliament.

Constitutionally, the Queen can redissolve parliament in this situation and call another general election.


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