Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

What a bizarre night.

Posted by Jason O on May 7, 2010 in British Politics |

Cardinal Mandelson glides effortlessly behind the scenes, dagger poised.

Cardinal Mandelson glides effortlessly behind the scenes, dagger poised.

Whether it was Peter Robinson going down to the Alliance (wtf?) or Lembit Opik been given a cheeky bum’s rush (sorry) or just the fact that the Lib Dems have actually done badly, and Labour not as bad and the Tories not as good as expected, it has been a bizarre night. What’s actually quite funny is the look of hysteria on the faces of some of the journos. I’m surprised Sky haven’t got one of those forboding Fox News jingles to underline the horror of a hung parliament. A result like this on the continent or Ireland would result in a shrug of the shoulders and politicians rolling up their sleeves to figure it out, with a government quietly cobbled together. Only in Britain is there hysteria.

What’s particularly interesting is the Cardinal Richlieu role that Peter Mandelson seems to be playing, where he (this morning) refused to rule out Brown having to go as the price of a coalition. It was so cold one could almost hear the knife go between the shoulder blades.

For my money (and I was wrong on the impact of the debates and how well the Tories would do) I think that a Tory/Lib Dem “understanding” is the most likely outcome, because a deal with Labour will need the SDLP, Plaid Cymru and the SNP as well, and that just looks too grubby. But don’t rule out the massive difficulties both Clegg and Cameron will have selling any sort of deal to their parties. In short, another election in the next 18 months is not impossible.    

5 Comments

Seamus
May 7, 2010 at 9:25 am

And more likely than not, electoral reform is off the cards too. The Lib Dems just won’t have enough leverage over Cameron to force this one through.


 
david morris
May 7, 2010 at 10:02 am

Look at England, the Tories have so far accumulated a clear majority of 32 seats, winning 40% of the votes.

And yet…

Once again, our old friends North of the border have voted for something entirely different.
The taxpayer funded Lumpenproletariat there will have 1 of 59 MPs a Tory.

So the country as a whole has been dropped into the merde. Markets crashing, and we English taxpayers unable to elect a government that will tackle spending.

The phone-ins are saying that the country has voted for politicos to come together “for the good of the country” – they should stop bickering and “just get on with it”.

Dear God.

There is zip understanding that “getting on with it” involves some very awkward decisions and a lot of losers. There isn’t a cat’s chance of getting on with anything without a majority government.

So, first things first.

Sleep.

Then, let’s see Brown out the (back) door. Send in My Lord Fondlebottom………


 
Wan
May 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

There was a lot of looking over the shoulder from the DUP at the TUV in this election but the real threat lay right in front of them. All the heads of Unionism have been rejected at this election: Allisdair[TUV] beaten by Paisley[DUP], Empey[UCUNF] beaten by McCrea[DUP] and Robinson beaten by Long[Alliance]. The electorate seem to be sending mixed messages. They want progressive candidates (rejection of the TUV, election of Alliance) but not “London” parties (rejection of UCUNF accross the board). The Unionists seem to be shifting towards the centre away from the more “confrontational” parties.


 
Daniel Sullivan
May 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Jason, A Lib-Lab government would now only require the SDLP/Alliance, and Lady Hermon for a majority as with 5 SF MPs abstaining and the casting vote of the speaker (provided it’s Bercow or someone from the opposition benches). Tag on Caroline Green from time to time and they could get enough done to go to the country in the next 12 months under a new Labour leader and under a new electoral system.


 
Jason O
May 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Dan, there’s no way a British government can hold on like that. John Major struggled with a majority of 22, and they were his own party MPs (initially). Don’t forget, the Brits just are not used to managing tiny minorities the way we are. Secondly, a Lib/Lab govt would have an active, popular and intelligent opposition with a credible alternative PM laying out a credible alternative agenda. Our govt normally has to deal with Fine Gael.


 

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