Friday, 7 May 2010

The cold light of day

After some sleep, a beef sandwich and some coffee, I'm now turning my mind back to the general election.

Looking at the coverage on the BBC this morning, I think it's very clear that the door is open to a Conservative-Lib Dem agreement of some sort. Clegg is not prepared to prop up Gordon Brown, recognising that Labour has been rejected and that such an arrangement would be unacceptable to the public. This may be bloody-mindedness on Clegg's part, as Brown is far more likely to give him the kind of concessions he wants, but the Lib Dem leader probably knows that he can't keep the dour Scotsman in power. And it's very difficult to tell the public that a new Labour leader - David Milliband, perhaps - has emerged in a puff of smoke. The cerebral Foreign Secretary didn't take part in the three-way presidential debates.

There are two major obstacles to the Conservative-Lib Dem scenario and neither of them is David Cameron. The first is constitutional. In theory, Gordon Brown should have first crack of the whip when it comes to forming a government. (In reality, I think it's constitution constischmution. The Labour PM can have the right to form a government in theory, but it remains academic if there are no options on the table.)

The second obstacle is more fundamental though. Many senior Conservatives were frustrated with Cameron's campaign and never bought into his soft soap politics. Their knives are out. What's more, many of them are fundamentally opposed to any form of proportional representation.

Lots of fun and games to come.

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