General election 2019: What is a hung parliament and a minority government?

An election does not always hand one particular party a clear victory.

When the nation is divided over who it wants to lead the country, an election can result in a minority government.

Here is everything you need to know about a minority government:

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General view of the Houses of Parliament

A minority government is the name given to an administration that has no majority in the House of Commons.

With 650 seats in the Commons, a minority would be fewer than 326 seats.

Minority governments are usually the result of a hung parliament in an election.

What is a hung parliament?

The Houses of Parliament where the next government will sit

A hung parliament, or situation of no overall control, is when no single political party wins a majority in the House of Commons at a general election.

The prime minister before the election stays on after the result.

If this happens at the 2019 election, Boris Johnson will continue as prime minister. He then has the opportunity to form a government by asking another party to create a coalition or he can decide to govern with a minority.

If a minority is chosen, the party would still need to rely on other parties to pass legislation.

Has there been a minority government before?

Yes - in fact there was one after the last election that was held in December, nearly 100 years ago.

At the 1923 election, when there was 615 seats in the House of Commons, the majority needed was 308.

But the poll resulted in a hung parliament, with the Conservatives losing their majority to return just 258 seats.

The party was unable to form a coalition so prime minister Stanley Baldwin attempted to continue leading the country. However he lost a vote on the King's speech in January 1924.

Then Labour, under Ramsay MacDonald, took office and governed with a minority until October.