Gordon Brown must turn election around, or resign as PM
With the British election chugging toward its May 6 conclusion, the looming near-certainty of a hung Parliament has Britons wondering precisely who will reside in Number 10 Downing Street come May 7.
With the most recent polls having Labour slide behind the Liberal Democratic Party for second place in this election, 27% to 29% -- with the Conservatives continuing to narrowly lead at 33%.
This clouds the question of who -- current Prime Minister Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Nick Clegg -- will be Prime Minister.
According to British Constitutional Convention, Brown would retain the office of Prime Minister under a hung Parliament, and Labour would receive the first opportunity to seek the confidence of Parliament.
That means that, if Brown can't turn his electoral fortunes around and David Cameron can't find a way to restore a strong lead, Labour could come in third in the election and retain government.
The tenuous position this would put Labour in could not even possibly give it the opportunity to govern.
For his own part, Clegg doesn't seem prepared to tolerate the prospect.
“It would be preposterous for Gordon Brown to end up like some squatter in Number 10 because of some constitutional nicety,” Clegg insisted.
If Gordon Brown continues to trail the Liberal Democrats after the election is concluded, he will have little choice but to resign the office of Prime Minister and allow another party to seek the confidence of Parliament.
To be the third-place party in Parliament and continue to govern is simply untenable on principle alone.