All parties have stressed that they are not keen on forming a coalition. However, multiple parties joining together to form a parliamentary majority would be the most formal and stable way for the U.K. to be governed.
The Conservatives have reportedly held talks with the DUP overnight as it became clear that the incumbents would be unable to maintain their stronghold following a surge in popularity for Labour.
Meanwhile, in the run up to the vote, the left-wing Labour Party and Scottish National Party (SNP) – which seeks to fully devolve Scotland from the U.K. – were rumored to be considering a "progressive alliance". Despite both parties formally ruling out a coalition deal before the election, SNP's leader Nicola Sturgeon confessed she would be willing to support a minority Labour government.
The Conservatives had previously described the prospect of a Labour-SNP alliance as a "coalition of chaos".