What a conundrum now faces Nick Clegg and his Lib Dem MPs (let alone his own party members). If they support the Tories for a minimum of 2 years – the idea that it can go any longer is clever selling by David Cameron – and then are wiped out at the next election without reforms to the voting system then they will be signing their own death warrants: nothing more: nothing less.
If they do not persuade Cameron of the need for STV or Proportional Representation but agree to the Economic packages and their support of the Queen’s Speech they are fools.
They cannot form a joint venture or deal with the Labour Government without the PM resigning or indicating he will resign by lunch-time today (he’s left it late; a quicker move by him on Friday and the Lib Dems would have had a sufficient carrot). But anyway, the Labour Party in 1997 and throughout its 13 years of Government looked down its collective noses at the Lib Dems and not much good will exists on either side.
Needs must and all that but if that was the case then other members of the Cabinet should have been bold enough (Peter Hain notwithstanding) to put their heads above the water – please note David Miliband……
So, my guess is that Cameron will form a minority Government with some help from the Lib Dems but it might have a sell-by date on it. Of course, if it doesn’t the chances of the Tories holding onto power for more than a year is slight but the idea that there could be another General Election in October would not find favour with the public. They will expect all politicians of whatever party to step up to the plate and solve the economic crisis together.
The winner in all this is Cameron. He has shown sharp leadership, he’s not been afraid to think outside the Tory box and he is trying to position them as the progressive party even if that’s a title most supporters would not want.
Finally, after all the hoo-ha, all the election debates on television, an unbelievable amount of media interest, the turn out of just 65% was downright shameful. Compulsory voting must come next.