National Archives
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A history of hung parliaments in the Archives

The 2010 General Election produced the United Kingdom's first hung parliament in nearly 40 years. Archival documents reveal how previous administrations and officials grappled with the complex constitutional questions arising when no one party has overall control of Parliament.

The fascinating records available to download from DocumentsOnline include:

PREM 16/231 Parliament, Government majority and the Constitution, 15-20 March 1974
CAB 128/53/33 The situation following the General Election, 1 March 1974
CAB 128/53/34 The situation following the General Election, 4 March 1974
CAB 128/53/35 The situation following the General Election, 4 March 1974
PREM 15/2066 General Election 28 February 1974 and State Opening of Parliament March 1974: Prime Minister's correspondence with Jeremy Thorpe MP on possibility of Liberal Party entering coalition with Conservatives 1973 Dec 31 - 1974 Mar 04
PREM 15/2069 Events leading to resignation of Edward Heath's administration, 4 March 1974
PREM 11/4756 Discussions on timing of General Election: part 2, 1964
CAB 21/3682 Parliament: Government defeat in the House of Commons; constitutional position, Apr 1950 - Sept 1955
CAB 21/1638 Function of the Prime Minister and his staff, 1947-1948

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