Brown was apparently dissuaded in his quest to find the votes to remain prime minister from some members of his own party. "I think from the point of view of the Labour Party if we appear to not be accepting the decision of the electorate – the biggest loss in our history apart from 1931 – and I think if we now decide that we're just going to [ignore] the electorate, or look that way, that the electorate will wreak vengeance upon us," former Home Secretary John Reid told reporters before Brown resigned.
But Conservative-Liberal coalition may itself not last any longer than a few months if the two parties policy differences widen. Historically, British coalitions have been short-lived.
A career politician from an upper class background who moved the Conservative Party to the center, Cameron is the 19th graduate of the elite British boarding school Eton to become prime minister, and the first Conservative to occupy 10 Downing since John Major departed in 1997.
Following days of negotiations between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, public impatience with a government in limbo since May 6 had started to show.
The biggest challenge facing the new government is how it will tackle the UK’s deficit, which the European Commission has forecast will be the biggest in the bloc by the end of the year.
During the election campaign, the two parties had been at loggerheads on how soon the cuts should begin – with the Tories wanting an emergency austerity budget within weeks of taking power and the Liberal Democrats advocating a one-year moratorium on cuts in order not to jeopardize Britain’s fragile recovery.