After days of discussions and compromises, Conservative party leader David Cameron is growing increasingly impatient.
He issued what sounded like an ultimatum to his Lib Dem counterpart this morning.
“It is now, I believe, decision time for the Liberal Democrats and I hope they make the right decision.”
A Conservative-Lib Dem pact would break the current deadlock by creating a majority government, but would involve painful political compromises on both sides.
“Discussions between parties have now reached critical and final phase. I am as impatient as anyone to get on with this and resolve matters,” said Nick Clegg, leader of the centre-left Liberal Democrats.
Labour leader Gordon Brown is widely believed to have sacrificed himself in a bid to revive the possibility of a Lib-Lab deal.
“Gordon Brown has put the country first and the Labour party first rather than his own future. and I think that it’s very selfless and principled and he showed great leadership and dignity,” said Peter Hain, Labour MP and Welsh Secretary.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for the left of centre Liberal Democrats as Nick Clegg decides whether to go for the safe option of forming a coalition with the conservatives or risk everything by backing a Labour minority government.