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If the LibDems learn anything from tonight's results it is that Labour is not as weak as everyone though three weeks ago. There is loyalty within the ranks and they are still viewed as the legitimate opposition to the Tories. LibDems didn't show any sign of taking their place in that equation tonight.
Brown is ruined and so are some of the other faces of NewLab that won't be missed. The UK voted for part of the Labour platform. A coalition needs to determine which parts of that platform can move forward and which ones cannot. Does anybody seriously believe that Cameron will negotiate anything? Any coalition partner will either be run over or shown to have made an egregious error three months later when they have to collapse the coalition.
Labour won enough votes tonight to avoid the appearance of illegitimacy provided that Gordon Brown is no longer PM.
And a large majority of the UK, in the popular vote, chose to vote for someone other than the Tories. This argument depends on support for PR, which Labour is already going public with.
Clegg + Brown - old and smelly.
Clegg + Cameron - Clegg loses around half his supporters and not a few of his MPs overnight.
Cameron + Brown - just no.
A.N.Other + Clegg + PR - Clegg might go for this as a caretaker government while another election with PR is set up. It would give ANOther a change to establish themselves.
Brown is Labour's biggest liability, so a fresh face might swing things in an interesting direction.
But I still worry about Clegg + Cameron, and some pious self-serving nonsense about a government of stability in these difficult times, etc.
The only thing the Tories can offer the Lib/Dems is PR. Which would, most likely, split the Tories.
Clegg can offer to 'help' the Tories but not formally enter into some kind of informal pact/alliance/whatever which is the smart move? He can do all kinds of "In these difficult times & etc. etc. blah-blah" while working to get PR through the Commons. Actually becoming part of the government would be, I think, a mistake.
Which implies a Tory minority government and another election in a year or so.
She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
But if I were Brown I'd impose a proviso that they would be replaced by someone from whichever party leads the Scottish government so if in 2011 Scotland reverts to Labour, then Labour would take back the Cabinet post.
"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed"
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