Who’s got the strongest mandate? Labour or the Tories
The above seat calculation is from UKPollingReport and shows what happens if you put the vote shares of C39-L33.3-LD20 into the seat calculator.
The outcome, based on a uniform national swing calculation gives Labour the most commons seat on fewer than a third of the votes and well behind the Tories on 39%. So in these circumstances what should the Lib Dems do?
Nick Clegg seeks to answer the whole hung parliament in a Times article today in which he writes:-
In the event of a hung Parliament, the British people also deserve to know how the Liberal Democrats will respond….we will respect the will of the public. The voters are in charge and the decision is theirs. If voters decide that no party deserves an overall majority, then self-evidently the party with the strongest mandate will have a moral right to be the first to seek to govern on its own or, if it chooses, to seek alliances with other parties.
In terms of seats Labour has the strongest mandate but in terms of votes the Tories are well ahead. Which way would the LDs go – with the seat winner or the vote winner?
What makes this more pointed is that the mathematics suggest that if Labour has most votes then it would have a seat majority and would not need partners anyway. So it is only if Labour is behind on votes does the question arise.
A challenge for the Lib Dems, of course, is that their flag-ship policy for decades has been “fair votes”
PaddyPower now has a market on what the Lib Dems would do if there is a hung parliament. The prices are 10/11 Neither; 7/4 Conservatives; 3/1 Labour. (Bets void if there isn’t one)