The election's still not over, yay! Hoping it goes on for weeks to save us from 100% of one's time being reverted to Canadian goings on.
This rang a bell:
There is a spectre haunting Whitehall. It is not of "weak government". Or of market turmoil this week. It is the spectre of a second general election. Exhausted, broke and chastened politicians are spooked by the thought. This fear explains much of what is going on now.Get ready for the leverage to be exerted by the better financed party. If they end up in a minority government situation. Because they're Tory. And that's what they do.
David Cameron has least reason to be jittery because the Tories are a lot better funded than the others. He desperately wants a proper majority and is as viscerally anti-Liberal Democrat as any other leading Tory. As soon as he becomes prime minister – if he does – he could trigger a second election at any point. He would simply plead that the Lib Dems and others were "playing games" and stopping the "strong, stable government" that crisis-hit Britain needs.
But Cameron has to play that card very cautiously and with perfect timing.
In the meantime, when the Tories are wooing their partner, it's all very positive and amicable and constructive and just peachy between the Tories and Lib Dems. You will find a lot of that in all the updates. Except when somebody needs to reel off some spin in order to keep the other parties on their toes.
How the Lib Dems will be able to withstand internal pressures on obtaining some kind of significant voting reform will be one of the most interesting things to watch.
Onwards with the fascinating discussions that may yet include Labour. It's doing wonders to put to bed the irresponsible rhetoric we've seen in this country about coalitions. There may or may not be a formal coalition that results but the sheer fact that it's being discussed so candidly and with relatively little hyperbole is a very helpful development.