The UK electorate has instructed that power be shared as none of the political parties has been entrusted with a Parliamentary majority.
At the time of writing various possibilities are on the table.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg rightly emphasised that the party with the largest Parliamentary group should have the first go at forming a government. In doing so he reiterated the position taken during the electoral campaign. Full marks for consistency.
Immediately Conservative leader David Cameron started the ball rolling to identify the areas and methods in which cooperation between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats could proceed.
There are various areas of positive overlap, including education and , fiscal policy. But there are also various areas of contrast namely the need to reform the electoral system and introduce proportional representation, relations with the European Union, and immigration, to name a few.
In brief the arithmetic for a Tory Liberal coalition is there but I doubt whether the political foundations to justify such a coalition exists.
On the other hand there exists the political justification for a progressive coalition which would include Labour and the Liberal Democrats supported by other small parties. But the numbers are not there, or just.
In the meantime later today the negotiations kick off.
The UK has joined the rest of Europe in exploring coalition government.
As usual Malta will be the last country to catch the bus.