Labour throwing in the towel?

Loads of Labour MPs coming out  against any possible deal with the Lib Dems… and now it looks like Brown will step down as PM if and when the Conservatives and Lib Dems choose to work together… Leaving Clegg without a foil in his negotiations with Cameron’s three horsemen… That is one leg gone from Kaletski’s thesis (the day before the election day) that a robust deal required a strong Labour counter offer:

If, however, Labour comes second — just ahead of the Liberal Democrats — in the popular vote, the situation would be transformed. Nick Clegg would then have a genuine choice of coalition partners and would be in a position to demand serious concessions from the Tories. Mr Cameron, facing the awful possibility of a Lib-Lab government, would be have to come to terms with Mr Clegg. A two-year co-operation pact, giving the Tories enough time to address Britain’s fiscal problems and to prepare a referendum on electoral reform, would be the likely result.

The BBC is hinting that the possibility of a Labour deal (or Hail Mary pass) is now over. That may not be good for the Lib Dems who need whomever they sign up with to swallow a little bit of poison over electoral reform in order for them to avoid the kind of fate that Ireland’s minor government partners have so often faced in the past. Think PDs. Think Greens. Think too that national referenda trend towards No votes and the promise of a public vote on bringing in PR, and your red lines are looking very weak.

  • John Joe

    Perhaps the senior Labour people realise how deep the problems are with the economy (particularly the mini property bubble brought about by flooding money into the economy). Maybe they were merely happy to make an inconsequential flap at talks on a coalition. Hence, the Lib Dems will be eternally agonising over what they are doing (and realising the deal on AV is a bit of a pup, nevermind differences over Europe). They will end up collapsing the new coalition or forcing the Tories to go for a solo run as a minority government (expect some futile horse trading by the DUP here). Given the decisions to be made over cuts and Britains international fiscal position, its going to be impossible to govern and be popular for the next few years.
    But the new Labour leader will probably only get 9-12 months to bed down before the next election as stability will only come with either a solid majority, a committed coalition with shared policy values, or, a genuine time-limited national coalition to address the economic problems.
    Can’t see any of those three at the minute.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    We will have to wait to see exactly why Labour failed to hold the baton aparently being passed to them by the Liberals but it certainly looks like animosity between the SNP and Labour played a part. Contrary to what the right wing press were ranting about rarely does a ruling party and leader go so meekly when the arithmetic is still doable.

    Even worse, all my winnings on Michelle and the Mad Singing Preacher in South Antrim which were re-invested in a Lib-Lab pact seem to have gone back to my good freind Paddy Power. It was ever so.

  • I doubt a ‘rainbow coalition’ was ever on the cards. Too many strains and personalities. Trouble would have started before the ink had dried.

    He is, rightly, carrying the can but Gordon Brown was not the only member of the Labour govt disliked by the electorate. Even if an alliance could have been arranged, it would have been almost impossible to show the electorate any benefits in what would almost certainly have been a very much shortened term in office.

  • Jaggers

    Nick Clegg turning up this evening at the meeting(s) of the Lib-Dems Federal Executive and parliamentary MPs is going to be like David Brent telling the staff that some of them will be made redundant and the rest will have to move to Swindon, but at least he’s getting a promotion (to Deputy PM?). Unless the Lib-Dem negotiators have an iron-clad guarantee on voting reform that might see them getting a number of MPs in future elections more reflective of the number of votes cast then I can’t see the Lib Dems going with the Tories – after all it would mean a short-term spell in the sunshine followed by another century of darkness somewhere in among the Opposition benches. Like David Brent, Nick Clegg might find that not all of his MPs share his own personal joy at being elevated to a meaningful Cabinet role. Let’s see …..

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Since the ridiculous Project UCUNF was launched it always always clear that if the Tories wanted a non-tribal partner then it should have been with the already spoken for Alliance, or nothing, rather than trying to get rid of sectarianism by bolstering a deeply sectarian party like the UUP.

    Still we way be ending up with just that with TALNF (ToryAllianceLiberalNewForce) or something similar with perhaps Naomi for the cabinet.

    But a Lib-Tory deal must be an absolute go-send to the Scots Nats who can claim with some justification that the Labour party put the Tories in power rather than cut a deal with them and SF’s abstentionist policy which might have been under some pressure if the SDLP had been power brokers now looks easily defendable.

  • Mr Crumlin

    What cabinet post will Sir Reg get??? 😉

  • If the referendum is on the combined issues of changing the voting system, reducing the size of the house of commons and reforming the Lords then it’s a slam dunk in my view. More likely it will be just the first two together but giving people the chance to reduce the number of MPs by 10% or more will bring out the Yes vote in droves.

  • Munsterview

    John Joe
    More or less agreed. Makes sense, get a new leader acceptable to the voting public and with good people skills, better than those of Gordon ( should not be too difficult ) and get their house in order. A renugivenated party will quickly look the business.

    Meanwhile Back at the Ranch: the Lib-Dems will be associated with the cuts and all the bad news. As to electoral reform, the Tories cannot afford true reform, turkeys voting for christmas etc., so King Cleg will be seen to have been sold a pig in a poke.

    Will a colation last a year? A rampant and renewed Labour will be ready. Where do all of this leave ‘Northern Ireland’ the same as it always was, a pimple on the Backside of British politics that many in Labour think in the need of a good squeeze.

    Remember Maggie moving on making it impossible for Prisoners to be elected, populist move by Cameron; if Sinn Fein are to take their M.P. salaries and expenses he will also make them take their seats or deem them vacant by virtue of non attendance! It is a win win situation for him.

    Any bets on that one?

  • So Gordon Brown and Labour are off. I wonder how copper-bottomed the promise of electoral reform is for the Lib Dems and how long the coalition will last…

  • Munsterview

    So is Clegg probably!