Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for the British people to be patient as the country's three main parties negotiate who should lead the next Government.

Speaking outside Number 10 moments ago, Mr Brown told the country Tory leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg should be given "as much time as necessary" to discuss the possibility of forming a coalition government.

Should those discussions fail, Mr Brown said the Labour Party would be ready to talk to Mr Clegg to find a "measure of agreement" on two particular issues: economic stability and electoral reform.

Mr Brown said: "We find ourselves in a position unknown to this generation.

"What we have seen are no ordinary election results and I have a constitutional duty to seek to resolve this situation."

He said he believed there should be a referendum on the future of the first-post-the-post voting system, which failed to produce a clear winner in yesterday's election.

He added: "My view is clear. There's needs to be a fairer voting system."