Does the DUP deal create a hostage to fortune?
Gordon has pulled off a victory when all seemed lost and this must take the pressure of him for the time being. My 5/1 and 6/1 bets on him not surviving 2008 look like losers.
But Labour might have stored up a real problem in the “bribes” that were extracted out of the government by the DUP in exchange for their votes. A major part of Labour general election rhetoric was to come down heavily on any form of increased spending proposed by the Tories – “where’s the money coming from?” minister would ask.
The power of that argument started to look a bit thin after the Â£2.7b cost to deal with the 10 pence change. The extra spending in Northern Ireland will now be added to the list.
On a more general level it gives us an idea of what live in a hung parliament might be like. Each major vote could be like the “42 day” one with the possibility of minor parties being bought off in deals like the one the DUP secured.
Perhaps the big message of last night is that Gord is going to fight like crazy to keep the job he sought after for so long. Initially that might involve beating off challenges to his leadership in his own party and then there is the coming battle with Cameron’s Tories. The main betting markets are here.