In the wake of the Mercian general election results, a hung parliament has led to great difficulties in forming a government. After Baron Ó Cathail, who had served in the role of First Minister for over a year, decided not to continue on as NLP leader, the entire opposition reached an agreement on the formation of a coalition government. This agreement, which is simply an outline of how a cabinet could be arranged and not a formal agreement, is already starting to fall into disarray before a government has even taken office.
Not long after the agreement was publicised, the NLP, who are the largest party within the Mercian Parliament, was approached by the PDP, who put forward an offer for government formation, while discussion also took place between the SDP and NLP. Baron Whyatt-Miranda, the leader of the PDP, reportedly approached the NLP and openly declared that he could support an NLP government. Meanwhile, an internal row has broken out within the SDP, a party which has not previously held office in Mercia, over whether or not to form a government with the NLP following promising discussions between the parties.
It is unclear who will now take office when Parliament convenes this weekend. Should the three other groupings fail to form a government, the NLP may have to negotiate a deal with one of the other groupings in order to form a stable government. Baron Ó Cathail, who took responsibility for the loss of two seats in the recent election, remains the acting leader of the NLP until a leadership contest is held to replace him. It is unclear who will replace him now as First Minister, or indeed whether a coalition of opposition parties will be able to serve out their full term.