Tuesday, May 04, 2010
It Looks Like Dave but Arithmetic Will Decide
1. Cameron wins big with 39+% of vote and over 326 seats. This is way above current predictions but if Ashcroft money pays its dividend and Labour polls overestimate its support as some maintain, including the very astute Mike Smithson, then this is certainly possible. Cameron has certainly given his all in the campaign too.
2. Cameron has biggest number of seats but no overall majority. This would place him in the 300-315 range with the possibility of governing as a minority assuming he can rely on DUP and maybe other odds and sods to support him. Will Hutton sees him doing a number of things:
David Cameron may offer Clegg a few concessions to gain his consent, but he will go to the country again before the pain of his economic measures are felt and as soon as the Lib Dem surge fades. He will want to win a proper mandate for a fully fledged Conservative government and then refine the first-past-the-post voting system, reduce the number of constituencies by 10% but in so doing redraw their boundaries to be fairer to the Tories and disqualify Scottish and Welsh MPs from voting on English issues. The state will become a Conservative fiefdom.
3. Cameron gets under 270 seats. This is when it gets interesting as one of the big parties will have to ally with the Lib Dems to provide stable government. Tories and Clegg would gag on voting reform(totally indigestible), EU and spending but Clegg might be prepared to accept a 'promise' on voting reform in exchange for that first real, heady, taste of power. Alternatively, Cleggy might reckon Labour more receptive to voting change and do a deal with them. His rank and file would be more amenable to such a thing wheras they would blench at a coalition with the Tories.
The problem with 3 above is that Gordon might spoil it all. Labour will probably come third in the vote yet second in seats. Will Gordon accept he 'lost'? It's not definite he will and may decide to hang on, claiming a contest is needed to remove him. The Sun says Mandelson has Miliband poised to move in to become leader and possibly to negotiate with Clegg. As his fianl act of arrogant perversity I wouldn't put it past Brown to bugger up such a plan. He's buggered up so much else after all.
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