Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, expressed his disappointment earlier today that the apparent surge in Lib Dem support following the three leaders’ debates failed to translate into votes.
He went on to say: “During the election campaign I said that whichever party gets most votes and the most seats, if not an absolutely majority, has the first right to seek to govern either on its own or by reaching out to other parties. And I stick to that view.
“It seems this morning that it is the Conservative Party that has more votes and more seats though not an absolute majority. I think it is now for the Conservative Party to prove that it is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest.”
Prime Minister Gordon Brown then addressed the public this afternoon.
Brown says: “I understand and completely respect the position of Mr Clegg in stating that he wishes first to make contact with the leader of the Conservative party.
“Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg should clearly be entitled to take as much time as they feel necessary.
“For my part I should make clear that I would be willing to see any of the party leaders. Clearly should the discussions between Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg come to nothing then I would of course be prepared to discuss with Mr Clegg the areas where there may be some measure of agreement between our two parties.”
“I want to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats.”
David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party
Brown believes that the Labour party and the Lib Dems have common ground on the need for continuing economic stability and reforms to the current voting system.
But Cameron says the Conservatives too share common goals with the Lib Dems.
He says a power sharing deal between the Tories and the Lib Dems represents a route to a more stronger, stable government than would be the case if the Conservatives formed a minority government.
Cameron says: “I want to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats.
“I want us to work together in tackling our country’s big and urgent problems: the debt crisis; our deep social problems; and our broken political system.”
He says that both the Tories and the Lib Dems are in agreement that Labour’s proposed rise in national insurance contributions should be reversed.
Cameron adds: “Our big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats involves helping them implement key planks of their election manifesto, providing the country with economic as well as political stability, and finding further ways in which Liberal Democrats can be involved in making this happen.”