What Nick Clegg needs to do now is be tough with the Conservatives. They are on the back foot and desperate to get into power but Clegg holds the keys.
Let’s face it, they’ll be no LibLab coalition – they just don’t have the electoral mandate. They’d need too much support from nationalists who would soon drop their support when their primary aims comes up. Neither Brown nor Clegg could ethically claim to be PM and putting in David Milliband or Harriet Harman would prompt “unelected PM” outrage.
So we’ll either have a LibCon coalition or a minority Conservative government, the way I see it.
In order to get a LibCon coalition, though some massive concessions need to be made. Cameron and the Conservatives are desperate for power under a majority Government. Nick Clegg who is showing himself to be a man of massive integrity, holds the keys and probably has more bargaining power.
It seems to me the concessions would mostly have to come from the Conservatives and that would not go down well. To the point where the coalition would either be very shaky or not go ahead at all. If such a coalition fell apart we’d see another general election in which both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats would be punished. We’d probably get a majority Labour government with a landslide victory and the LibDems would go back to being nobodys.
I believe that Nick Clegg should go in tough, sticking to his four campaign priorities as non-negotiables. If the Conservatives don’t concede on electoral reform they will have to form a minority. Clegg’s integrity will be intact and he’ll keep the support of his party as well as those who voted for him (and all those who voted tactically to keep the Tories out).
By the next general election (which may follow the collapse of a Conservative government) we could well have electoral reform and Clegg’s action will likely reward him a much greater share of the vote and push him and the Liberal Democrats into opposition, if not Government.
So, don’t do it Nick – stick to your guns, let’s get electoral reform!