Attention has shifted to May 8th and how to legitimately form a Government
With the parties saying all they can say, the political interest has shifted to May 8th and mechanics of forming the next Government. Ultimately, the answer is - it is going to get messy.
Current polling suggests that the Conservatives’ will end up with the most seats, so CCHQ has been busy sowing the seed of “legitimacy”. The Conservatives will claim that having the most seats means they have constitutional right to form a Government and any claim by Labour will be unconstitutional. With the majority of the press backing a Conservative led coalition, we can be certain that the issue of legitimacy will dominate during coalition talks and leveraged as an argument to prevent Miliband entering No.10.
However, Labour are aware that although they may not have the most seats, with the support of the SNP they can out vote the Government. Labour will look to counter claims of illegitimacy by saying that have command of the House of Commons and this is what matters most constitutionally. There are rumours that they will present a Queen’s speech that is full of popular legislature - such as repealing the Bedroom Tax and ending zero hour contracts – betting that Lib Dems and DUP would not vote it down. Furthermore, to make matters more complicated, yesterday SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon noted that any government which ignores Scotland will lack legitimacy.
Meanwhile, the option of a Lib-Lab coalition should not be ruled out either. Labour are reportedly considering a minority coalition with the Liberal Democrats and may look to the current junior coalition partner to give them a degree of legitimacy. Nick Clegg speaking on the BBC’s Today programme also gave his strongest indication so far that a Lib-Lab coalition is not out of the question. He said the party with the greatest mandate should have the right to try and put a Government together. This will be welcomed by certain left-wingers in the party who are already planning to veto any proposals to go into another coalition with the Conservatives.