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One potential stable majority available

Nick Robinson | 09:50 UK time, Friday, 7 May 2010

There is only one potential stable majority available. That is a combination of the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

The question, therefore, is what terms will David Cameron offer and what will Nick Clegg accept. Oh, and one other thing, will their parties accept their proposals?


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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Nick, when do you think the next election will be?

  • Comment number 3.

    I can't find any information on this site about the overall turnout. Surely you have some numbers by now...?

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes, may be way to go Nick.

    What that Labour bluuuurk Kevin McGuire says Lab. to coalise with Lib. and then promise to only serve for say two years! What??? Another unelected term for Brown and then give way to yet another unelected Labour PM?

    What you have said is what should happen with perhaps DC offering the sweetener of the electoral reform issue being deliberated as Libs want.

    What about the results still not yet declared though?

  • Comment number 5.

    David Cameron is less popular than Edward Heath when he was ousted from office in 1974. How can he possibly have a mandate to govern?

    David Cameron's conservatives are on track to win 36.1% of the popular vote which is less than the 37.8% that Edward Heath won in 1974 and failed to hold on as prime minister. Whilst Labour have lost their mandate, the Conservatives have not gained one either.

    We must have a government that has the support of over 50% of the population and that requires a coalition...

  • Comment number 6.

    No, I disagree, we need a National Government - the country's situation is far to precarious for a weak Con/Lib coalition.

    We need at the very least a Con/Lab coalition or the markets will destroy the National finances and Sterling.

    We need it TODAY. (Or the markets will collapse.)

  • Comment number 7.

    The LibDems are going to be held hostage by their crazy tri-partite system of running the party. I can't see a deal emerging no matter how much Clegg might want to.

  • Comment number 8.

    Not sure that Nick Clegg can afford to be humiliated any further by accepting Tory polices on Economy, PR and other constitutional reform.

  • Comment number 9.

    Oh, and will Gordon Brown accept defeat and step down. If he doesn't, then the other questions are a bit moot really, aren't they?

  • Comment number 10.

    So far the BNP is the second highest after the Tories to gain in percentage of the votes cast, the Greens have gained a seat but are slightly lower in percentage terms - who's for PR? As a BNP supporter, I have to be, but how about you Libdems and Greens?

  • Comment number 11.

    I hope Clegg remembers that he promised to seek a coalition with whichever of the two main parties got a clear mandate.

    That party is unquestionably the Tory party.

    I voted LibDem. If Clegg goes back on his word and does a deal with Labour, I can't see myself voting LibDem again for decades to come.

  • Comment number 12.

    Tory: anti-Europe. Lib Dem: pro-Europe. A coalition ain't going to happen.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    This is the one that I've been saying for a while is a possibility. Damn I shoulda put some money on it!

  • Comment number 15.

    That's such nonsense, Nick, and you must know it. Bless you, once a Tory, always a Tory.

  • Comment number 16.

    If David Cameron really means what he says about putting the country first, he will make an arrangement with the LDs - but I bet he won't be prepared to offer the LDs anything of any value to them.

  • Comment number 17.

    Regards the result in Scotland - Traditionally the Conservatives were not going to gain ground here, but rather than seeing the fact that the Scots went back to support Labour, as an extremely negative situation and a big problem for Westminster. Could the result not be interpreted as support for "Great Britain". There was no upsurge in support for the SNP. I think this is a big message to Alex Salmond that the majority of Scots do not want independence, especially when the UK's, Europe's and the World's economies are in such a mess....?

  • Comment number 18.

    Whilst not ideal, and having not voted Conservative either, this option is ultimately more appealing than and Lab/Lib pact.

  • Comment number 19.

    A Lib/Con coalition sounds unlikely to me, surely they're poles apart in the ideologies. Having said that, it will probably happen, you can't change anything if you don't have power.

  • Comment number 20.

    Conservatives should offer Liberal Democrats voting reform. It won't affect the Conservatives but with royally mess with Labour's future voting.

  • Comment number 21.

    for god's sake guys ,sort it out,cameron get on that phone to Clegg and sort it.Sterling and the markets are tanking.Forget your wants,think of your country -PLEASE

  • Comment number 22.

    Nick not quite the case, apart from the constitutional position, there has been a comprehensive rejection of David Camerons conservatives. This despite massive media manipulation, foreign cash trying to buy the election and an unprecedented global economic crisis.

    The one thing the electorate want is electoral reform.

  • Comment number 23.

    Divide total votes for each party by number of seats gained and Conservative seat takes approx 35,000 votes Labour seat approx 33,000 votes and LibDem approx 126000 votes something wrong with voting system here!

  • Comment number 24.

    Nobody seems to be telling us how the remaining seats are likely to be distributed.

  • Comment number 25.

    Why Nick? There's a clear majority of Centre Left voters. Still, once the Tories and Lib dems mess up, Labour will mop up in the next election. Will it be under PR??

  • Comment number 26.

    Gosh Nick, you’re beginning to sound desperate!

    You were trying that one on all night!

  • Comment number 27.

    I think Labour and the Lib Dems will form the next government, with Vince Cable as the Chancellor and David Milliband as the PM.

  • Comment number 28.

    Agreed Nick, I don't think that Labour can expect to lead. They need to re-group and re-focus, perhaps change their leadeship and then come back fighting.

    I don't just see Clegg working with Cameron though.

  • Comment number 29.

    Advantages of Tory Lib Dem coalition

    1) No Brown, Balls, Mandelson etc in power.
    2) Both Parties want to get rid of ID cards and promote civil liberties
    3) No dishing out millions or billions to scotland/ wales/ ireland to the detriment of england.
    4) Political stability


    1) Europhile V Europhobe (Mind you in the current climate this is hardly relevant)
    2) Voting reform.

    If Clegg puts country above party he'll endorse Cameron. If he puts party above country he'll endorse Brown.


  • Comment number 30.

    The problem I have with that comment Nick and the problem I have with most things you say on the BBC is that you are an ex Chairman of the Young Conservatives and you seem to slant every comment towards the Tories
    Cleary Nick Clegg is going to have to compromise every political beleif he has is he wants to form a government with Cameron.

  • Comment number 31.

    Although Labour have the 'right' to seek a coalition,the people have spoken. Although they have not spoken conclusively, to deny power to the party who has take the largest number of seats is surely undemocratic.

  • Comment number 32.

    Not so - there are 35 seats remaining, meaning that if the Conservatives or other parties gain less than 7 more seats, a Lab-Lib coalition could have a majority.

  • Comment number 33.

    why not lab + Con ?

  • Comment number 34.

    No, there are 2 potential stable majorities available.

    One, as you say, is the combination of Conservatives and LibDems.

    The other is the combination of Conservatives and Labour. Unlikely, I know, but would you rule it out 100%? It would certainly have a crushing majority.

  • Comment number 35.

    You have got to be kidding Nick. What kind of sell-out would that feel like to LibDem voters, I can see them working with Labour, but the Tories!! Have you any evidence for that or is it wild supposition?

  • Comment number 36.

    Hmmmm come back Andrew Marr.....I want to hear/read an unabalanced political insight from the BBC not a party political broadcast on behalf of the Tories.....Nick why don't you run as a Tory candidate (again) or do you consider that you can be more help to the Tories by purporting to be an unbiased polital reporter

  • Comment number 37.

    Nick, in 1964 a very tired Robin Day interviewed a very tired Harold Wilson the morning after the election. The conversation went something like: RD: 'Good morning, Mr.Wilson. Mr. Wilson, do you feel like a Prime Minister?' HW: 'Right now, Robin, I feel like a drink.' This is such a rare example of a politician answering a question without using spin that I hope someone can find the film in the BBC archives and broadcast it again. Please!! Perhaps the BBC can put it on their website as well?

  • Comment number 38.

    Fairly obviously, we will have another general election this autumn / winter. Whatever government we have will be a caretaker government till that election is called.

    The answer given by the British people to the question as to who governs Britain is that it is not Gordon Brown.

    So - yes - this is a straightforward way to have a stable governemnt. A pact can be done that the people be given a referendum on electoral reform and government spending be slashed. Labour will be catcalling from the wings.

    A new election to go alongside that referendum and who knows what will be the outcome. But we are looking down the barrel of a canon on the international financial stage and whoever is in power is in a terrible position. I am so thankful we never joined the euro.

  • Comment number 39.

    I thought BBC journalists were supposed to be impartial, which is definitely not your case!. Nick, the whole night you were trumping Cameron. Hopefully LD will do the right thing and bring Labour to power and you will be right cheesed off!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    Conservative/LibDem coalition just as talk of cuts is causing the recovery to falter?

    Sounds like a 'perfect storm'

    Any of the bookies offering decent odds against a double dip? I want to get some money down fast as the only way keeping some sort of livelyhood.

  • Comment number 41.

    The conservatives lost the election they should have won by a country mile. why?

    Nothing to do with the electoral system, morality etc. Simply that the electorate doesn't trust them. that's not a mandate to do anything. I'd suggest that we simply say to Cameron - thanks but no thanks!

  • Comment number 42.

    not sure the Lib Dem's tax plans would go down well with the Tory MPs; Europe is another issue where the two parties differ; does Dave really want electoral reform?
    a Con-Lib pact looks unlikely on that basis

  • Comment number 43.

    electoral reform or bust. There's nothing to gain for clegg short-term propping up cameron while he makes hammersmith-style cuts. It's got to be for the long-term gain and fairness in our voting system.

  • Comment number 44.

    What a mess. Tories and LibDems won and should agree on electoral reform and form a LibCon government. Opposition to electoral reform is an old Tory sandpoint and not worthy of Cameron.

  • Comment number 45.

    BTW, did I imagine it, or were the local elections as well yesterday?

    Can't find anything anywhere on the BBC website about the results.

  • Comment number 46.

    Nick Clegg is a young ambitious politician. An alliance now with Labour could give him some form of PR, which could see him in powerful political positions for the next 20 years. How can David Cameron possibly offer him any more than this?

    I think Brown's best move now is an immediate indication that he isn't staying on, that he remains PM until a deal is struck, he puts Mandleson in charge of negotiations on the understanding that Mandleson won't stand for leader. This would remove the main block to a left of centre alliance taking power.

  • Comment number 47.

    Surely that's not quite true yet? Yes, it's unlikely, but there are 34 seats undeclared and 28 more would give the Labour-Lib Dem coalition a majority of 326.

    Especially as a number of the undeclared seats were one of those two parties in the last election, sometimes quite strongly so. Or is there something I'm missing in the rules?

  • Comment number 48.

    Yes - spot on. Only a Tory/LibDem combination can avoid instability and allegations of a serious democratic deficit!
    The only sensible price that the LibDems should insist on (and the Tories should grant but say they will oppose) is a referendum on the voting system.
    Personally I favour an AV system. I can see nothing wrong at all with the idea that constituency MP's should be elected only if more than half the voters prefer them to the other candidates. It would also do away with the need for tactical voting, because one would simply prioritise parties according to one's honest preferences.
    The ONLY problem, though, is if a party is allowed to get away with repeatedly lying about the policies of another party (as Labour did in this election!) then such actions could subvert the entire system!

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    LibDem supporters would leave the LibDems for Labour next time if they made a pact with the Dark Side.

    Conservative core beliefs are absolutely incompatible with either LibDem or Labour.

    LibDem and Labour supporters consider the Tories core beliefs evil.

    Labour and LibDem can easily work together in a coalition.

  • Comment number 51.

    I think there is another option. All parties other than Conservatives are, as far as I'm aware, in favour of electoral reform. My guess is that we could see an electoral reform coalition of all except Conservatives and then a second election where all those that were unable to vote will make sure they make it this time and then we'll see what we get.
    Assuming this happens, I hope they go for AV over PR as there appears to be no wish for PR based on the result of this election.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Who knows.... lots of horse trading going on. Almost certainly be doing all this in another 6 months anyway....

  • Comment number 54.

    That is the obvious solution and a sure way of removing Gordon Brown from power. So will the next election be PR?

  • Comment number 55.

    Gordon Brown is releasing a statement in 10 minutes.

    There is no way that he will have the audacity to try and stay in power when the whole country has voted for change.

    The only feasible solution is to allow David Cameron to form an acceptable government. After all, they have the most seats and percentage of the vote.

    Maybe the conservatives can do a deal with Nick Clegg but one point to negoriate from the Lib Dems side will be electoral reform which I am not sure the Tories will budge on.

  • Comment number 56.

    There is no way that gordon Brown could possibly run the country after this result, he has never ever been elected to run this country. He should get out now before he becomes a complete embaressment & let the man with the majority of votes - David Cameron - have a chance to show us what he is made of, even if he does require the support of Nick Clegg.

  • Comment number 57.

    I do hope Cameron and Clegg's advisors include people with knowledge of New Zealand's 15 years of experience with no-overall-control Parliaments, and in particular the no-surprises and the agree-to-disagree paragraphs of confidence and supply agreements

  • Comment number 58.

    Nick your Tory bias is unreal the majority of Britain has rejected the Conservatives. Scotland has one Tory MP how could Scotland be governed by a Westminster government where there is no representation. A Lib/Lab coalition is the progressive majority and we need a reform of the voting system.

  • Comment number 59.

    It seems outrageous that it is possible that the leading party in terms of seats and popular vote could be completely excluded from government? I don't suppose anyone has considered the possibility of a "government of all the talents" to help us through the current economic crisis?

  • Comment number 60.

    Seems as if Argyll & Bute has not been updated since last night? Why no information as to why result has been declared?

  • Comment number 61.

    What I find highly amusing is that all the parties who were given a kick in the seat of the pants today by the U.K. Electorate have still not realised that we

    Voted like this because I believe in the main we are sick of watching Ministers acting like pigs with their noses in the financial troughs we would all ove two houses and the kind of money that these characters earn

    The expenses rip-off that we pay for is why we have treated you all like the idiots that you think that we are !

    You have reduced our industries to almost non existant

    We are short of housing

    You have borrowed money hand over fist and now we are in massive debt

    The oil producing countries control our economy and that of most economys

    You are now finally faced with not being able to govern without joining with each other

    Gordon Brown is probably stupid enough to think that he has the right to rule even though he has been told by the electorate that we do not want labour in power !

    I stupidly thought that in a Democracy that the individual with the most votes won

    Basically what happened last night reflects exactly the state of the U.K. and its economy !

    We could not even organise the polling stations properly !

    We are a laughing stock in Europe - but we will no doubt muddle on thinking that we are not a small dot on the globe but still an empire

    Shall we pay our debts back do you think !

    No lets keep talking about the election

    We are silly arnt we

    Mr R S Maher BSc

  • Comment number 62.

    We need change, Labour have just racked up so much debt it's unreal. 2.5% of GDP just to service the interest payments.

    If we don't get the economy sorted by 2012 then the Olympics will destroy our economy and we'll go sobbing to the eurozone/IMF asking for money like Greece are.

    Cut the waste!

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    If the Libs want any form of electorial reform then, in my opinion, they have to demonstrate that a hung government can effectively operate and run the country. PR will probably result in hung governments and therefore if they cannot show that it can work now they surely it completely defeats any argument for reform.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    Following on from my previous comment: Nick Cleg will be the new Foreign Secretary, Alistair Darling will move to Health, and Alan Johnson will stay as Home Secretary.

    List so far:

    PM - David Milliband
    Chancellor - Vince Cable
    Foreign Secretary - Nick Clegg
    Home Secretary - Alan Johnson
    Health - Alistair Darling

  • Comment number 67.

    Soon labour will start spinning that liblab coalition can claim support of 52% of the votes.

    Arithmetically (gosh, tremendously (Blair's favourite word) difficult to spell, that word) that seems the case, but many people don't vote at all or don't vote for their favourite party because of a discouraging majority held by another party.

    Within the current FPTP set-up you can not honourably add percentage shares of the votes together for any of the parties.

  • Comment number 68.

    Tory should form a minority government which can be just as stable, or even more stable, than a majority government.

  • Comment number 69.

    The country has given Cameron the mandate to Govern - the rules say he has no immediate right to Govern. It's a disastrous result for the UK - Labour propped up by Scotland and the Northern seats (voters here will never ever vote for anyone other than Labour).

    So what should happen? A Con-Lib pact - with Cameron PM, Clegg in a new vice-PM role (effectively 2nd in command) with Osborne and Cable as Joint-Chancellors.

    For Clegg to go with Labour would prove him a liar and blow away the Lib-Dems argument for PR.

  • Comment number 70.

    In my opinion this election is legally flawed in any case, with so many people unable to cast their votes at various places throughout the country. With errors on this scale how do those of us who did vote know that our votes have actually been counted. Smacks of Zimbabwe to me!!

  • Comment number 71.

    I think we are possibly going to see a lib dem/conservative coalition - judging from some of the body language we saw on the debates.

  • Comment number 72.

    The next time Peter Hain tries to validate the idea of an "anti-conservative majority" please point out him that in 2005 they got 9.5 million votes whilst the "anti-labour majority" got 15 Million!

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    The election has shown that First Past the Post is no longer suited to our current 3+ party state.

    What has David Cameron got to lose by going into alliance with the Lib-Dems on the promise of a referendum on PR 2 years down the line. That will give us all a chance to see how well coalition governments work, and give the public the decision.

    David Cameron for PM, Vince Cable for Chancellor!

  • Comment number 75.

    I cannot see Nick Clegg joining with the Conservatives for any reason, Only through Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling can a usefull coalition exist to provide economic stability.

  • Comment number 76.

    Nick - How does this effect your thinking/mathematics?
    202. At 09:32am on 07 May 2010, terry_nyorks wrote:
    ELECTION RESULTS - SURELY the current working majority for the winning party, FPTP system, is 325 for the next 3 weeks? Everyone is forgetting that there is a by-election, in effect, in Thirsk and Malton constituency, on May 27; which by the way is classed as a safe Tory seat. Possibly to be the subject of much work in the coming weeks?

  • Comment number 77.

    Preller (5) said: David Cameron is less popular than Edward Heath when he was ousted from office in 1974. How can he possibly have a mandate to govern? David Cameron is less popular than Edward Heath when he was ousted from office in 1974. How can he possibly have a mandate to govern?

    Because Cameron has more of a share of the popular vote than Blair did last time out? I wonder if you were fretting over that in 2005.

  • Comment number 78.

    Not sure if that will work, the conservatives and lib dems seem to divided on several issues to make that work. A comprehensive list of concessions will have to be made by them to make that work; will that go down with their parties, I doubt it... Ideology will be the stumbling block.

  • Comment number 79.

    The Tories would be mad to enter a coalition with any other party. They have an overhaul majority in England and must insist as a priority that only English MPS vote on pure English matters, such as health, education and policing. It is NOT acceptable for Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs to vote on matters only concerning England. Clegg with his claims to be clean and honest must support that. Put it to the test. This is the major issue.
    PR would have created an even bigger mess.

  • Comment number 80.

    This doesn't look so good for the Liberals but it is maybe better than it looks. In the past they have always lost ground in elections where the Tories win (the swing voters being people who don't want to vote Tory but see themselves as too cultured to vote Labour). So this is better than it looks. The question for the Libs is whether they would do better/worse if the election were re-run with voters knowing the previous outcome. ie if they trigger a quick election by holding out for PR are they likely to do better or will everyone be fed up with them. How angry is the electorate that 22% have voted Liberal and they represent under 10% of the seats?

  • Comment number 81.

    Nick, why did you say that only a liberal democrats and conservative party coalition will work? Surely the lib dems and labour have more in common so why would clegg want to arrange proceedings with cameron when their policies are very different.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    As a LIB Dem I could never trust the Tories with a PR referendum. The priority is PR and all else takes second place. We should try and obtain a lib Dem Labour Coalition with a new more photogenic labour PM.
    Suggest a Milliband.
    That way we get PR and a better chance of winning the next election.

  • Comment number 84.

    A Con/Lib pact is the most sensible short term option - maybe to agree to go back to the country in 12 months time. The tories will need to make concessions on voting reform but not necessarily full PR. In return, the LibDems will need to back certain Tory economic measures.

    This short term government could be to the benefit of both parties as it will allow a period of in-fighting over the Labour leadership which is likely to lessen their appeal with the electorate.

  • Comment number 85.

    For those who wonder what a hung parliament will bring and how PR ensures a perpetual hung result just look over the water at Belgium. Once again the coalition of a hotch potch of ill suited party's and nationalists has collapsed and we have to vote again on the 13th June. Will the new vote change anything? Highly unlikely, and the mess and imbecilic nationalist disputes will just carry on as Flemish Nationalism resembles Scottish Nationalism here in Belgium, but even more fanatic.

  • Comment number 86.

    Nick I welcome your views on the following observations:

    This election has been surrounded by controversy.

    The Scottish vote was predictable because of the favouritism extended to Scotland at the expense of England. An outright conservative victory would have seen the benefits made more equable.

    The creation of 'National Assemblies' has weakened the overall national position and Labour has much to answer for.

    Postal voting was rushed in before adequate security checks were instituted and many returns have been falsified.

  • Comment number 87.

    Nick. Clearly you are right, but would a rainbow coalition comprising Lab/LibDem/SDLP/Green be a possibility? And whilst Sinn Fein, SNP and PC are avowedly anti-Westminster, PC have been in coalition with Labour in Wales, so might the Nationalsit parties be tempted to coalition and if so what would they need in return?

  • Comment number 88.

    The Thatcherite party led by a known Thatcher supporter came nowhere near winning this election on pure votes. Yes they may of attained just over 10,000,000 votes but the overall turn out was 28,108,311 that means 18 million people don't want a Tory government. The country wants a shared house not one party.

  • Comment number 89.

    "There is only one potential stable majority available." Typical fractured grammar from Sgt Bilko, star of Fort Baxter and Conservative Central Office.

  • Comment number 90.

    Given I personally usually find myself flipping between Lib Dm policies on one issue and Conservative on another, part of me would prefer some sort of arrangement between the two, but I just cannot see it happening, however much all the parties want a stable government.

    The lib dems have been humiliated after all the hype - I tried not to be optimistic, but after consistent high 20's polls for weeks, I would have hoped they'd be able to increase their seats somewhat at least - and don't have enough of a gain in popular votes to have any weight to any demands they might want to make. That they do appear to have slightly increased their vote and done worse will only make them want PR more, but I cannot envisage any circumstance under which the Tories would accept it; I don't have a problem with lib dems and tories coming to an accomodation, but much of the country and the parties seem to regard the choice as conservative or one of the two 'anti-tory' parties, meaning Cameron and Co would fear always being the largest single party under PR but never able to govern as the centre left gangs up on them.

    I think Cameron and Clegg might themselves be prepared to compromise, even on big issues, to be able to govern/have a seat at the big boys table (that I confess I had hoped for, for oen to make things different and interesting) respectively, as the top politicians will be more pragmatic, but the voting reform is too large a sticking point, and Clegg would be massacred by his own party if he dropped it (and he will probably face a backlasah anyway - they haven't done badly really, but they have lost seats, and if they couldn't break through this time, when can they ever?) and Cameron massacred if he accepted it.

    Maybe Cameron might promise a referendum on electoral reform as a sop to the lib dems in exchange for lib dem tacit support of economic measures, without backing the idea of switching from FPTP, but I doubt it.

    The most likely scenario seems like various attempted minority governments to hold off an immediate additional general election (in which I think despondant lib dems would stay home and do even worse) and how unpopular that would be. Cameron will try to go alone, might manahe to scrape a few things by with the help of the DUP and Sinn Fein Abstentionists making things a tad easier, but it won't have the strength to last. Labour have been reaching out to the Lib Dems since the exit poll was revealed, so those two might give it a go, aided by nationalists for assurances on cuts to those regions and will last only so long as it takes to change the voting system, whereupon the lib dems will hope AV+ will benefit them (I've seen some say it can be just as or more unrepresentative as FPTP, but given last night's failing they might hope it at least benefits them).

  • Comment number 91.

    If it's bad for Murdoch, it's good for me!

    Honestly, I have been hoping for the unlikely event of a Con/Lib coalition. Might actually get it. Clegg as deputy PM and Cable instead of Osbourne.

    Referendum on PR followed by a proper election in a year or so. Could be all right.

  • Comment number 92.

    just been listening to some interviews - the Tories are desperate to gain power & are even running lines such as "our nett gains are more". yes they would be, after all they started at such a low point. On that basis the BNP & the Greens have the biggest mandate.

  • Comment number 93.

    How about taking the votes for the three parties and giving the parties a pro rata number of seats based on their share of the vote. The seats would be allocated to those constituencies that had the highest votes across the UK.

  • Comment number 94.

    Why would Cameron and the Tories take Jedward Clegg's policies seriously--where's the honour in such brazen political expediency?

    Why would Cameron and the Tories, after three years of Brown's shameless manipulation and corruption of the electoral system, cooperate in the tweaking of the electoral system for the express purpose of bringing about a *pre-determined result*--to cement Jedward Clegg's role as perpetual kingmaker?

    The day Cameron gets into bed with someone who has hitherto been viewed as a joke at best, dangerously irresponsible at worst, is the day that even fewer take Cameron seriously. He already talks about the tragedies which have befallen us and about the future of the country like he is reading a bedtime story--utterly void of passion--does he seriously believe that political expediency will convince more people that he has any convictions?

  • Comment number 95.

    A Labour/Lib-Dem coalition would make a complete farce of the whole election - the two least popular parties ruling and the most popular shunted aside? It has to be a Tory/Lib-Dem coalition - this is the only fair and sensible way to proceed. The public will be completely outraged if Brown and Labour try to hang on to the power they have when the public clearly don't want them and want a change. Yes, Lib-Dem and Tories have different opinions but it's not fair to put a joint Labour/Lib-Dem gov in place just because they are both liberal - the Tories got the most votes so they must form a part of any coalition.
    And regardless of any differences of opinion, there would probably be another election within a year and the Tories could offer the Lib Dems electoral reform to sweeten the deal of working with them.

  • Comment number 96.

    Peter Mandelson's "deathbed conversion" to proportional representation and his citing it as virtually an article of faith for NuLabour was just about the the most shameless piece of political chicanery of the evening.

    The British people have utterly failed to recognise the clear and present economic danger we are in and have voted for a soggy compromise. Sadly, reality is now going to "do it" to the great British public...and "do it" hard! Let's hope that a government can be formed before the bond markets form one for us.

  • Comment number 97.

    Before the results I had pondered about the possibility of conservative / lib-dem co-operation. The "Conservative Democrats" (CDP) are about to be born.

    Seriously though, I have always seen Clegg closer to Cameron in many ways, the trouble Clegg will have is perhaps older elements in his party, Ashdown influence etc that would not contemplate a pact with the tory's. I think the way goverment should run (i.e smaller more devolved less centralisation) the cons and lib's are actually not a million miles apart on. On the environment too. Con's warned public about this, so those wanting to know who won, cannot really moan now we have the resulting hung parliament. I think actually it is a pretty sad for our democracy.

  • Comment number 98.

    Theoretically, a combination of Labour and the Conservatives would also provide a clear majority. Extremely unlikely, but these are strange times we are currently living through.

    There has never been a hung parliament during my lifetime and I'm looking forward to finding out what will happen in the coming days.

  • Comment number 99.

    Well, people can now see the political shenanigans that result from a hing parliament. You would have this every time with PR. Talk about be careful what you wish for. We already have Harriet Harperson saying that Lab/lib would maintain public investment, in other words spending. The dear public would soon loose cheap foreign holidays as the pound tanks.

  • Comment number 100.


    If Clegg puts country above party he'll endorse Cameron. If he puts party above country he'll endorse Brown.



    I think you're right. I'd rather have left the choice up to the meerkat.


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