Friday 7 May 2010

Those Lab-Lib negotiations in full!

There is BBC speculation that the Labour party has already begun negotiations with the Liberal Democrats over the possibility of a post-election coalition. I rather doubt that - and it is difficult to see whether or how this is based on very much at all. It would be impossible to have any substantive discussion without knowing the balance of the Parliament.

Given the distaste for smoke-filled rooms, let me make a more public opening bid. We can start with the coalition deal set out in my New Statesman piece calling for a Lab-Lib coalition back in January.

Labour has since adopted most of the constitutional positions set out there - though not yet full PR for local government.

However, it might be that there is a case for going further - for example, a referendum (this Autumn?) on AV+ and an elected Lords.

I suspect it is a hypothetical discussion. And the piece was calling for a coalition to be formed in response to the financial crisis ahead of the election, in part because it was sceptical as to whether any coalition (blue-yellow or red-yellow) would in the end result from a hung Parliament:

The Liberal Democrats could be expected to stand aside, just as they rejected all coalition options in Scotland and Wales last year ... A hung parliament would put David Cameron in Downing Street with a Tory minority government.

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