So what happens now
- From: Richard Miller <richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 7 May 2010 12:49:47 +0100
As I noted in another thread, all three parties lost tonight. The Tories should have walked this, but couldn't secure a majority. The Lib Dems had realistic hopes of a breakthrough, but yet again it failed to emerge. Labour has clearly not secured a mandate, but nor has it suffered the categoric rejection that the Tories claim.
At the time of writing, there have been 625 declarations, so 24 to go. Labour have 252 and the Conservatives 294.
So what happens now? The big question is, who can the two main parties rely on? The Tories could add in the Unionist parties from Ulster to give them a current total of 302. But it is difficult to see anyone else supporting them, so how could they hope to get a Queen's Speech through Parliament? They could only do it with Clegg's support, and hopefully that will not be forthcoming given the Tories' staunch opposition to electoral reform and their imperial demand of their right to rule on 36% of the vote and a minority of the seats.
Labour could probably rely to a greater or lesser extent on some Irish votes and Scottish and Welsh Nationalists plus Caroline Lucas to bring their total to 265, which with the Lib Dems' current 52 plus the NI Alliance seat would bring them up to 318.
Bottom line is, this Parliament is a leftish one rather than a rightish one, and Labour is the biggest leftish party (albeit that it hasn't acted remotely leftish for the past 13 years).
What I would like to see now is a minority Labour Government tolerated by but not in coalition with the minor parties, with an absolute commitment to electoral reform within 18 months and a new election as soon as that reform is in place so that the country can vote in a Parliament that more accurately reflects their actual beliefs.
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