Hung parliament

Parliament without an absolute majority / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A hung parliament is a term used in legislatures primarily under the Westminster system to describe a situation in which no single political party or pre-existing coalition (also known as an alliance or bloc) has an absolute majority of legislators (commonly known as members or seats) in a parliament or other legislature. This situation is also known as a balanced parliament,[1][2] or as a legislature under no overall control (NOC),[3][4][5] and can result in a minority government. The term is irrelevant/almost ubiquitous in multi-party systems and proportional representation systems where it is rare for a single party to hold a majority of the seats.

In the Westminster system, in the absence of a clear majority, no party or coalition has an automatic mandate to assume control of the executive — a status usually known in parliamentary systems as "forming (a) government". It is possible that an absolute majority may still be gained through the formation of a new coalition government, or the addition of previously unaffiliated members to a pre-existing coalition. Additionally, a minority government may instead result — that is, the party that has the most members is allowed to form government without an absolute majority, provided that it has the express, ongoing support of unaffiliated members, such as minor parties and/or independent legislators.