A “rainbow coalition” would be less reliant on the SNP
One of the key drivers behind the 2010 coalition was that a CON-LD pact was the only one that appeared feasible given the election outcome. All the talk of a “rainbow alliance” required bringing together all the non-Tory MPs and it was hard to see how that could be managed.
Any one of the assorted parties could wield enormous power if it came to a confidence vote.
The impact of a CON loss in Corby could be to make things a bit easier and allow Miliband to ignore the SNP.
This is the general election break-down of the parties.
The main change since has been Labour’s loss to George Galloway in the Bradford by-election but for all intents and purposes he’s in the Labour camp.
So Labour is 49 seats behind the Tories. A gain in the by-election would reduce that to 47 seats because, of course, the red team’s total would go up by one while the blue team would be down by one.
The elected Sinn Fein members don’t take their seats.
So if the Conservative arrangement with the Lib Dems was to break down then you could see three possible “camps” developing. CON + DUP would produce 314 seats which would be exactly the same as LAB + LD.
Miliband could probably also count on the SDLP, RESPECT, the Greens and possibly PC. which would mean it would, given the Sinn Fein position, make it just possible to form a government without the SNP.
It would be tight but it’s just possible. Is it going to happen? I think the coalition will struggle on in its present battered form but who knows?
Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB