What will the electoral fruit machine* come up with on May 7th?


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On Saturday, we linked to an interview with Nick Harvey, who speculated about what might happen after the election on May 7th. In it, he pondered a possible Lib Dem match-up with Labour, saying that we would be “older, wiser and uglier” and ready on shaft-avoidance mode. He mentioned that a reduced Liberal Democrat representation in the Commons would be no block to forming a coalition government, pointing to our one hundred-odd peers who could be the subject of many ministerial appointments.

Yesterday, Nigel Dodds, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, suggested that Labour MPs are “deeply concerned” about a possible deal with the SNP. He said the nationalists would extract “an enormously high price” from Labour for such a deal, which would jeopardise the cohesion of the United Kingdom. Mr Dodds suggested that “a pan-Unionist pact” could provide a helping hand to Labour in forming a government, with the suggestion that this would involve extra dosh for Northern Ireland.

Labour and Sinn Fein have denied that they have been having talks. Now that would be a strange combination, so perhaps it is indeed off the table.

Then there is the possibility of a Conservative/Unionist alliance, which perhaps is the most natural of all the possible partnerships, particularly given that the Conservative party is still called the “Conservative and Unionist party”.

What coalition might the electoral fruit machine (*to borrow a phrase from our regular commenter, John Tilley) throw up in May? And what might the ramifications of the potential outcomes be?

Might the Queen, like her predecessor Queen Victoria, have to call more than one or two potential Prime Ministers for a chat at Buck House before one sticks in place?

Oh, I nearly forgot. Surely the dear voters will spare the Liberal Democrats the excitement of yet another coalition with the Conservatives, will they not?

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