Britain faced tense wait

IF BRITAIN ends up with a hung parliament – as suggested by exit polls after general elections on Thursday – it will be for the first time since 1974. On that occasion, the country had to wait uncertainly for several days to learn the identity of its new government.

In the Feb 28, 1974 ballots, the Conservatives under then-premier Edward Heath won 297 seats against 301 for Labour, led by Harold Wilson. Both were still short of a majority of 318 in the then 635-member House of Commons. As the incumbent prime minister, Mr Heath – a bachelor known for his love of classical music and yachting – got first shot at forming a government.