With the polls tight, Charlotte Henry looks at the process that brought about Britain’s first peacetime coalition government in May 2010
Britain has a hung parliament. Nick Clegg appears outside his party’s headquarters, reiterating that his party will talk to the largest party, the Tories, first. David Cameron makes a “big, bold, comprehensive offer” to the Liberal Democrats.
The Lib Dems begin the tricky process of consulting the key groups in their party, who must agree to any deal. They also listen to Labour’s offer. Discussions are interrupted as the three party leaders all attend the Cenotaph to lay a poppy wreath.
The Liberal Democrat and Conservative negotiation teams have in-depth talks to come up with a deal.
Gordon Brown resigns as Labour leader. William Hague makes a final offer to the Lib Dems, agreeing to hold a referendum to change the voting system, previously a key sticking point in discussions.
Brown resigns as Prime Minister, and Cameron and Clegg make a final deal. They prepare for their new government, launching it the next day with a press conference in the Downing Street rose garden,