Lately there has been a bit of talk about Minority Governments. I’ve been asked about them a little too, so to the best of my ability I’ll explain what they are.
What is a Minority Government?
Simply a Minority Government is a Government that commands less than the majority of seats in Parliament.
Are they stable?
This largely depends on whether they can survive a Vote of No Confidence from opposing parties. This is usually done by striking a deal with minor parties or independents to support the Government should a No Confidence motion be brought up.
So this will be Australia’s first minority Government?
Not quite, the election in 1940 produced the same thing we’ve got now. Though hopefully the independents won’t walk out a year later.
More recently we’ve had Mike Rann form a Minority Government in 2002 (though it should be pointed out this wasn’t a real minority Government) and again even more recently the 2010 Election results in Tasmania delivered a Minority Government.
How widespread are Minority Governments?
Minority Governments are probably more common than people think, right now Canada has a conservative minority Government, and have had many more in the past. Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands all have had Minority Governments. Basically any Democracy using the Westminster System is capable of forming a minority government at some point.