Would DaveM and Nick be able to do a deal?

Would DaveM and Nick be able to do a deal?

CON/LAB lead Election outcome
LAB lead 2.7% plus LAB overall majority
LAB lead 0% – 2.7% LAB most seats in hung parliament
CON lead 0% – 4.1% LAB most seats in hung parliament
CON lead 4.1% – 11.1% CON most seats in hung parliament
CON lead 11.2% plus CON overall majority

The table, based on data from John Curtice, shows the range of trigger points for the next election assuming that there’s no change in the voting system and constituencies.

Even if one or more of those elements come in I don’t think the broad numbers would be radically different. The point is that there is a very wide window for the hung parliament possibility and if the new leader gives Labour the boost the party is hoping for then he/she might be seeking a deal with the Lib Dems.

This is by way of introduction to John Rentoul in his Indy on Sunday column in which he argues that Labour has to think about a yellow-red linkage.

.”It would be all too easy for Labour leadership candidates to please their natural supporters by accusing the Lib Dems of being collaborators…. But that risks driving the Lib Dems further into the arms of the Tories. Labour’s priority ought to be to ensure that it would be a more attractive coalition partner than the Tory party if there is another hung parliament after the 2015 election.

That means understanding the Liberal Democrats, not least in the sense of understanding their internal tensions and exploiting them. That means, in turn, accepting Labour’s responsibility for having lost control of the nation’s finances, as a basis for making the Lib Dems uncomfortable, by accusing the Tories not of cutting public spending but of cutting too deeply..”

Rentoul, who was more Blairite than Blair himself, is now transforming himself into a mega-Miliband enthusiast and hardly a column goes by without him extolling the virtues of his man.

But is Rentoul right to suggest that MiliD is the only one of the five who could pull off a deal? I doubt it. If the circumstances demand it then even the most rabid anti-Lib Dem Labourite will find a way through.

Remember – these are not normal people we are talking about but politicians.

Mike Smithson

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