Friday, 7 May 2010

How would you like your government to be hung?

Well! What a night, what a day, what a week it's going to be. In terms of the national picture I will make a prediction. I don't think the Lib Dems will go into coalition with the Tories. I think they'll end up in coalition with the Labour Party. The reason is because the one thing the Lib Dems want is voting reform, some system of PR and they are not going to get it with the Tories who seems to be offering only a committee to look into it.

If the Lib Dems wanted PR purely on a point of principle, I could see them caving in on this for a bit of power sharing - after all they were easily bought when it came to forming a coalition with Labour in Scotland. But PR is no longer just a principled stance, it's something that will pay huge dividends for them come the next general election. I know it's not a straight percentage split under the system they would prefer but in general terms, if you look at their share of the vote and then their share of the seats, you can see why it matters so much to them.

Last night they got 23% of the vote across the UK. For that they got 57 of the 650 seats which equates to 8.8%. The Tories on the other hand got 36% of the vote. 36% of the seats would have been 234 but instead they got 305.

Under a fairer PR system, the Lib Dems on 23% of the vote would have around 150 seats rather than just 57.

So, it would be madness for the Lib Dems to accept the fop from the Tories if there's a chance (and I think there is) that the Labour Party will actually accept proper voting reform.

My prediction is Labour, Lib Dem coalition with issue by issue support from other parties, including the SNP.

It's not just my prediction, it's what I pray will happen. For a start it will mean we do not have to be ruled by a Tory government again - the lack of humanity in society under a Tory government is almost too much to bear, Labour's bad enough but the Tories are worse and I've never argued any differently. I also don't really buy the argument that a Tory government will send Scottish people flocking to Independence but more on that another day.

Secondly it will be an opportunity for SNP MPs to protect Scotland because there will be times when the coalition will need our support and they certainly won't be getting blind support.

And finally, we can gain concessions not just in Westminster but in Holyrood too. For example, our MPs will support the coalition on a particular issue in return for MSPs supporting alcohol minimum pricing - they should be doing that anyway but they will play party politics!

I see ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF VALUE for Scotland in a Tory / Lib Dem coalition. The Lib Dems are aware their vote has dropped in Scotland. The Tories still have only one seat in Scotland. They have nothing to gain from us and this coalition will not need the SNP so who will stand up for Scotland?

Never thought I'd hear myself say this but fingers crossed for a Labour / Lib Dem coalition with SNP concessions of support for an Independence referendum, the scrapping of Trident and my personal favourite, the promise to put Jim Murphy in Dungavel every time he annoys us. Exciting, unknown times and I'm loving the unfolding soap opera.

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