- A Lib-Lab coalition wouldn't have nearly enough seats. A Lib-Lab coalition with the regional parties would be incredibly unstable and would require an extremely unpleasant level of pork barrel bribery.
- Having a second Labour Prime Minister who wasn't leader at the time of the election would not be particularly popular.
- In spite of the both Labour and Lib-Dem politicians saying that they are closer to each other in policy than the Lib-Dems are to the Tories, on a lot of controversial issues, I don't think they are. On civil liberties issues (ID cards, databases, vetting,...) Labour and the Lib-Dems are poles apart and it's one area where I don't think the Lib-Dems could afford to concede any ground without losing all credibility. The Lib-Dems might instinctively be closer to Labour on certain tax and spend policies, but the state of the public sector finances might limit the options available to the next government anyway.
- Forcing through a pact with Labour could irreparably damage the Lib-Dems. It seems to be what the MPs and party activists would prefer, but it would involve backing away from Nick Clegg's pre-election offer of support to whoever was the largest party, it would look like a rash self-serving act, it could make them seem so close to Labour as to be irrelevant and to the wider electorate, I think a more stable Lib-Con deal is what would go down better at this point. Even those who don't like it could probably see the sense in it, which probably couldn't be said of an incredibly unstable Lib+Lab+others arrangement.
10 May 2010
It's got to be Lib-Con
At this point, nothing else makes sense:
Posted by Paul Lockett