Labor denied reports of a heated phone conversation between Brown and Clegg, and support from colleagues in Brown`s cabinet remained strong, but a back banker, John Mann, urged Brown to resign as Labor leader ahead of the September convention, arguing that Brown`s continued leadership “tarnishes the credibility of a Lib/Lab pact.”  At first glance, this handful of principles, with lottery changes that bring the only promise of new money, is common ground among coalition partners. Jeremy Hunt, the new culture minister, however, assured in his first speech that culture would not be a soft reduction target – but he will not be able to prevent the Ministry of Finance from considering it like that, and his ability to defend his new territory remains to be proven. Alan Travis` analysis The deal paves the way for consideration of broader bans on extreme Islamist groups, but with the cautious cavein that they must “be submitted to the police board and the security and intelligence services.” This could lead to a rejection of more public funds than outright bans such as the Hizb-ut-Tahrir demanded by Tory spokesmen in the past. The general elections took place on Thursday 6th May 2010 and saw the turnout rise from 61% in 2005 to 65% in 2010.  During the day, GfK NOP and Ipsos MORI conducted an exit poll on behalf of the BBC, Sky and ITV intelligence services, the results of which were announced when polling stations closed at 22:00.  Data collected by individuals at 130 polling stations across the country indicate a suspended parliament, with an initial estimate that the Conservative Party would reach 307 seats, 19 seats less than a controlling majority.   This deficit was then adjusted to 21 seats. The distribution of seats was initially planned at 307 for the Conservatives, 255 for Labour, 59 for the Liberal Democrats and 29 for the other parties, but these figures were later updated with a slight adjustment in favour of the Labour Party.  The seemingly poor outlook for the Liberal Democrats came as a surprise to commentators, given that many previous opinion polls indicated that they would win more seats. A BBC exit poll that took place on Friday, May 7, at 5:36 a.m., the Conservatives predicted at 306.20 less than a total majority, the Labour Party at 262 and the Liberal Democrats at 55  The Labour Party, which in recent years has been playing with ideas of “community building”, still feared that localism would undermine the universality of the welfare state and social benefits. The coalition may be less sensitive in this regard, but if city councils are allowed to get rid of national standards and go their own way, Clegg and Cameron can expect to be criticized for chairing an unfair “postal code lottery,” where citizens of neighboring districts end up with very different rights and levels of service.
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