How To Understand A Hung Parliament
A hung parliament is the situation that occurs when no single party receives a majority in the UK general election.
This has historically been quite rare under the first past the post system which generally gives one party the mandate to run the country.
However in May 2010 the general election did not lead to one party having a clear majority.
The number of seats needed was 326 whilst David Cameron's Conservatives had 307 seats and so were short of this.
So to understand a hung parliament that's all you need to know - it is the situation where no one party has enough seats to govern alone.
There are several possible ways around this, one is a minority government where one party hopes to get support as and when from other parties on key votes or to abstain on certain key issues.
Another is for a coalition where two or more parties work together in the national interest. For example, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats could form a coalition.
Questions about parliament: