In a situation where no single political party wins an overall majority after the polls close at 10pm tonight (7 May), the 2015 General Election will be known as a ‘hung Parliament’.
Under the current electoral system, First Past The Post (FPTP) the candidate in each of the 650 constituencies with the most votes wins, thus ao party needs 326 elected MPs for an outright majority.
In the case of a hung Parliament, the current Government will remain in place until a majority government can be formed - which is what happened in the 2010 General Election.
Talks between party leaders could take days as agreements are brokered ensuring a new administration can function.
This could mean party manifestos that people voted for could be altered or cast aside.
Or, a party leader could opt to go it alone and try to run a minority government.chooseto go it alone and try to run a minority government.
In that scenario they would still need the support of other parties in order to get their laws passed.
There is only one guideline for forming a government in a hung Parliament: that the politician who can tell the Queen that he has a workable majority in the House of Commons is the one the Queen will authorise to form a government.