Now What?

A fascinating, if ultimately frustrating, night. Much depends on these final seats, and how the numbers work. Can Brown and Clegg put together a viable coalition pact that gives them the magic 326 plus? Would such a pact be based around a short-term alliance preparatory to a referendum on electoral reform? If the Lib-Lab figures don't add up, can Cameron push on with a minority government? We assume a Con-Lib deal is not viable, although perhaps shouldn't write off an 'understanding' too quickly. If the arithmetic doesn't work out for Cameron, how long will it be before blood-letting starts in the Tory Party? Lord Tebbit has already been putting his oar in, with frequent implied claims that David Cameron is failing the Conservative Party by not winning big. Conservative Home, the ubiquitous websites for a self-selecting minority of the grass roots, has already put out a survey to its readers about the election campaign. And what about the Liberal Democrats? After all the hype, they have plunged badly in the actual contest. Is a deal of any sort preferable to oblivion?

In amongst all the uncertainty, some good new MPs have been elected, and some prominent ones despatched. But what oh what do they do now?! And how frustrating would it be to embark on your nice new parliamentary career, only to have to defend it all again in October?


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