As the exit polls show the Conservatives have the most votes, but not a majority, questions are being asked about The Queen’s role following the General Election.
The Queen will reportedly take control of the situation following a hung parliament.
It is traditionally Her Majesty’s role to merely ensure the incoming government has the support of the House of Commons in order to form a stable government. She is not involved in any negotiations.
The Queen takes advice from the current Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, on whether he will resign and if she needs to invite the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband to the Palace, and ask him to lead a government.
It is being reported that The Queen will give her traditional speech in Parliament on 27th May, even if a majority government has not been formed. The speech sets out the government’s plan for the next five years.
If David Cameron attempts to form a government without a majority, the speech for a minority Tory government could then be voted down by the House, and the government could collapse; this could be a political embarrassment for The Queen. Her Majesty does not, however, have the constitutional right to refuse to give the speech.
In April, a source said: “One of the concerns that might be there is if The Queen’s Speech became a mechanism for testing a particular Prime Minister’s control of the House, you wouldn’t want The Queen to be politicised by giving that speech.”
Her Majesty has always been apolitical and will remain that way. Prior reports suggested The Queen would not make the speech to avoid being seen to be too involved in the elections. It was also suggested the speech would be read in The Queen’s absence, so that she was not at the centre of the political fighting, to form the next British government.
Prof. Stephen Haseler, Monarchy expert, spoke to The Guardian and said this: “If The Queen stayed away, it would be an abdication of her role. We have a hereditary Monarchy, she is the Head of State and she has to fulfil her constitutional obligation.”
The exit poll appears to be rather accurate and the SNP have taken a landslide victory with 56 of 59 seats. Former PM Gordon Brown lost his seat and the SNP got the youngest ever MP since 1667 with 20 year old student Mhairi Black.
David Cameron and the Conservatives have ended up with a majority government of 330 seats on last count. Mr Cameron met with Her Majesty at 12:30pm to form a government.
Updates as they come.
Photo: photo credit: UK Parliament