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See Also: Cross-party pacts

Clare Spencer | 12:56 UK time, Friday, 7 May 2010

Commentators speculate about the deals that parties can make to form a government.

Re-elected Conservative MP John Redwood ponders in his blog the ethics of a possible Labour-led government:

"Mr Brown is within the rules to stay as Prime Minister, and to seek to form that 'progressive coalition' that we have been debating on this site for a few days. The question which needs to be asked, however, is does he understand the mood of the country? It is within the rules to do as he does, but is it within the spirit of the election result? Does he recognise that if you lose around 100 seats and fall substantially in the popular vote, if you come a poor second, it is possible that the country does not want you to remain as Prime Minister?"

In the Guardian Seumas Milne outlines the difficult dilemma for Nick Clegg:

"[T]he prime minister has already decided to try and make the Liberal Democrats an offer on electoral reform they will find agonising to refuse - and initial contacts have already been under way... Clegg didn't exactly make things any easier for himself by declaring during the campaign that whoever won 'more votes and seats - I support them'. That's clearly the Conservatives - and there's no chance of PR from them."

Political blogger Iain Dale thinks that the Lib Dems will support the Tories while working with the opposition to gain ground on electoral reform:

"David Cameron would form a minority administration, with the Lib Dems not voting down a Queen's Speech or a budget. At the same time, formal coalition talks would begin, with a clear timetable and a clear deadline."

Michael Savage argues in the Independent that the Lib Dems will not be celebrating their potential role as kingmakers:

"A few people saying this morning that this was a dream result for the Lib Dems, with a hung parliament giving them leverage for electoral reform. I don't buy it. After the highs of the campaign, losing seats will be a devastating blow to the leadership. It was unthinkable, even on the evening of the election. What Clegg and his team wanted was a sign that they had won support from the country in their own right."

Political blogger Hopi Sen warns that before speculating, we have to find out the precise balance of seats:

"The mathematics matters. What would it take for a stable government to be achieved? Would the most obvious combinations be compatible with the interests of the parties involved? Personally, I think Nick Clegg would have to be suicidally insane to support a Tory minorty Government with no offer on Electoral reform, but hey, what do I know?"

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