Conservatives Gaining Edge in British Jockeying

Talks on forming a new British government appeared to be reaching a critical phase on Tuesday, with the signs pointing strongly to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pushing ahead with plans to form a governing alliance despite a last-minute bid by the Labour party to supplant the Conservatives at the head of a coalition.A series of developments in mid-afternoon suggested that the bid by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to extend Labour’s 13 years in power was collapsing. Mr. Brown was meeting at 10 Downing Street with Labour cabinet ministers and other officials as a succession of senior Labour figures took to the airwaves saying Labour should abandon Mr. Brown’s bid for a pact with the Liberal Democrats and acknowledge that the Conservatives had won the right to govern.