David Cameron’s Conservatives are locked in intense negotiations with the Liberal Democrats with the view to forming Britain’s next government.
The centre-right party won the most votes and seats in last week’s general election, although they still lack an overall parliamentary majority.
That leaves the Tories looking to tie the political knot with an unlikely partner: the centre-left Lib Dems, who finished third.
William Hague, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman, told reporters in London that the meetings were “very constructive, very positive” and “very respectful of each others’ positions.”
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg did not attend the talks but says his party could support the Conservatives if it is offered concessions on reforming Britain’s first past the post voting system.
That was a sentiment echoed by Simon Hughes, one of the party’s most senior parliamentarians.
“There’s an agenda of which electoral reform is a central part. Now, if the Tory party are serious about moving into the 21st century, I hope they move on that. But, there are a lot of Tory backbenchers and other people who have said they will die in the ditch for the present electoral system. They’ve got to decide,” Hughes said.
Under Britain’s unwritten constitution, it would normally be Prime Minister Gordon Brown who has the first right to try and form a government.
He will be hoping the Lib Dems spurn the Tories advances if his Labour party is to stay in power.
Labour will need Lib Dem support to have any chance of governing after voters slashed their parliamentary majority by 91 seats.