Friday, May 07, 2010

So what happens now?

There are still a few seats to come in (including those covering Morecambe and Lancaster), but it's already a mathematical reality that we have a hung/balanced UK parliament and the prospect of a minority government or a rather complex coalition.

It leaves everyone in a dilemma. The Conservatives can't offer the strong government they like to speak of, as they don't have the seats, but natural allies are few in number. Labour wants to carry on, but they are a clear 2nd, and an alliance with the Lib Dems still wouldn't get them up to the total required. The LDs meanwhile are faced with equally difficult options - a tricky alliance with the Tories (which would surely require electoral reform to be on the agenda), trying to keep Labour in office, which is potentially electorally damaging to them, or be blamed for plunging us into a 2nd election and the instability that may cause.

Given the turmoil on the markets resulting from Greece's woes, it's certainly a time for leadership by someone. It made me wonder how serious it would have to get before party considerations would be set aside. World War 2 put Labour and Conservative into a single government, so could we conceive of any other circumstances doing the same? How bad would it have to get?

Highlights? I think it's good to see an Alliance candidate - the first cross-community candidate to be elected to Westminster from Northern Ireland. I also think it's good for there to be a Green voice at Westminster (and at least that's one female party leader!) It was also a relief to see that the much heralded BNP breakthrough didn't actually happen. As for the rest, well given how interesting the campaign seemed to be, it all feels a bit strange the morning after.

Over to you, David, Gordon and Nick. We need some proper leadership and dialogue now.

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