“I feel like I win when I lose”

Mr Brown is within the rules to stay as Prime Minister, and to seek to form that “progressive coalition” that we have been debating on this site for a few days.

The question which needs to be asked,however, is does he understand the mood of the country? It is within the rules to do as he does, but is it within the spirit of the election result? Does he recognise that if you lose around 100 seats and fall substantially in the popular vote, if you come a poor second , it is possible that the country does not want you to remain as Prime Minister?

Listening to him last night he was still speaking as a partisan politician as if he had a majority and an election to win. Surely the tone should be different if you are leading a minority which has just lost so many seats and votes?

It poses an interesting problem for Mr Clegg. Is there a deal which is too good to turn down? Just add a few nationalists and there could be a leftwards leaning coalition in a country which just swung markedly away from the left in the way it has voted. More to the point, could such a coalition start to tackle the huge fiscal and economic problems that now confront us?

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57 Comments

  1. pauper
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Mr Redwood. A result for you is a victory for all sensible people.

    I hope Mr Cameron cuts Mr Brown as much slack as he needs to hang himself. There's no hurry. This is just a side show to the bond markets now, and that's where the real decisions will be made.

    We turkeys have voted for Christmas, and Christmas is what we will get.

  2. no one
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    all the talk of electoral reform is missing the obvious point

    ENGLAND NEEDS ELECTORAL JUSTICE

    we cannot continue to tolerate a clear majority of the voters in England being ignored, we need parity with Scottish and Welsh who have their own parliaments at least, we need English MPs voting on English matters

    • Mike Grimes
      Posted May 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Surely it is now time to ask English people if they wish to stay in the Union? Once again the English have voted for a Conservative Government and it has been stopped by Scottish and Welsh votes, yet we continue to finance many of the social advantages they have over us

  3. Mick Anderson
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on your result, John.

    All that we have seen of Labour politicians suggests that Mr Brown is not interested in the wishes or mood of the electorate.

    Unless the Conservatives can claim a majority when added to the Unionist seats, Mr Brown will claim that he has won.

  4. John
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    It seems that whilst it is so the Nation does not want Brown or ghastly Labour, it does not want anyone else. The signal being sent to Cameron is, go away, do your homework then come back with a better answer.

    He might then realise it was his tactical error of failing to honour his "cast-iron" guarantee on a referendum on the EU Constitution that not merely lost him a large chunk of Tory core vote, but illustrated his lack of trustworthiness in the minds of the electorate generally, irrespective of their opinions on Europe, at a time when the perceived probity of our politicians was at a low.

    It is a contradiction to talk about scaling back government and localising decisions whilst at the same time supporting the EU juggernaut and saying that the accelerating drain of right of self-determination into the hands of a remote, non-elected oligarchy it is not an immediate concern.

    The economy, healthcare, education are indeed important matters, but the fundamental matter of our birth-rights: freedom; liberty; self-determination are paramount.

    A gilded cage is still a cage. Cameron seems not to understand that.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Well it looks like the public have voted for change.

    Problem is its change with a difference.

    England have gone Conservative, but all other areas in the Uk seem to have strengthened against the Conservatives.

    So if DC wants to form a Government, it looks like he will need the support of some of the minor Party's.

    The cost of that support it would seem is already being outlined in increased cash terms for Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

    DC now left with a real problem, does he give way to blackmail and offer more cash to regions, where it should be cut back, or does he go against his Manifesto pledge of cuts to these areas at the expense of England.

    The alternative:

    Does Brown attempt to form a Government with the failed Liberal vote and attempt to become a Prime Minister for the second time, without ever being properly elected on either occassion.

    There will be trouble ahead.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      DC could always team up with the Liberals of course, but for how long would it last ?.

      Many Liberal supporters comments on radio, it would seem that they much prefer Labour as a Partner, which may give Nick Clegg a problem, given he said he would negotiate in the National interest.

  6. Javelin
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Every body is trooping onto the trading floor this morning asking me if I was pleased I predicted it spot on – esp the bit about Brown clinging onto power.

    I have conviction in my belief that New Labour is ruthless for power. Means always justify the ends for Labour and the left in general. Many poeple have stated this on this site d their words and beliefs should drive their predictions. The narrative for New Labour is just retro-fitted.

    New Labour will offer a referendum on PR to Clegg. If I were Clegg I would accept it. I see Brown is already hinting at this. This was obvious. They will offer a referendum to the SNP as well if they have to.

    Clegg would be stupid not to accept their offer even if it meant short term pollution from the Labour brand because it means long term power gains.

    Clegg will go back on his word to support the majority party because he will (again retro fit the narrative) that PR is more important as a strategic democratic position.

    Brown will resign – making Harman PM until a leadership election is held. Clegg will step into Harmans place. Saint Cable will replace Darling to give the voters comfort. Milliband and fresh faces will take over the cabinet.

    Here's my prediction if this happens. I think there will be a few as job cuts as possible, I think that there will be tax rises – especially on houses as local income tax, second homes, 50% tax on over 100K, banking taxes. I think they will try for a 50% tax rise and 50% cost cutting strategy. I don't think the markets will react strongly initally because the new economic policies will result in a long slow slide.

    By the autumn I think the consequences of the economic policies will show, there will be low growth and interest rates will rise to about 3% by christmas, 5% the following year. Credit ratings will not be cut because the middle classes, house assets and banks will be squeezed to pay the debt. I think RPI inflation will rise to about 5% by the start of next year. The economy will slide slowly downhill.

  7. Sally C.
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Given the poor performance of the Lib Dems in this election, it is clear that no-one wants their package of policies, in particular they have absolutely no mandate for electoral reform. If Gordon Brown tries to stay on at Number 10 we should all demonstrate outside Downing Street.

  8. Stewart Knight M
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Well done first and foremost John.

    Looking over last night though, couldn't this be seen as perhaps the perfect outcome for the Tory party and ultimately as a result the country?

    I personally hope Brown does form a coalition and is still in Number 10 when the s**t storm to come hits the economy. This election was a poisoned chalice designed for just that purpose by Brown, but he now looks set to reap the rewards. Inflation will undoubtedly rise and interest rates will soar who ever got it, so let it be Brown.

    The Tories have a massive majority in terms of share of the vote, and the biggest swing since 1932, so hardly a bad night given Labours near 60 seat built in lead. Brown will inevitably fall and that leaves the path clear for a generation of Tory, competent, rule.

    This could be the perfect scenario; a large win without a majority.

  9. Simon_c
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    So, it looks to me like a coalition of some kind, with some kind of electoral reform.

    So, how about combining the reform of the house or lords, with the electoral reform.

    Here's my idea:

    get rid of the lords as currently constituted.
    form "super constituencies" and allocate seats in the new lords in a PR list system.
    this new lords would then have the power to throw legislation back to the commons as the current lords.
    If the commons tries to use the Parliament act to force something through the lords, then the lords can have absolute power to block it with a 2/3rds majority of the lords.

    That's what kind of reform I'd like to see anyway.

  10. SimonC
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    So, it looks to me like a coalition of some kind, with some kind of electoral reform.
    So, how about combining the reform of the house or lords, with the electoral reform.
    Here’s my idea:
    * Get rid of the lords as currently constituted.
    * Form “super constituencies” and allocate seats in the new lords in a PR list system.
    * This new lords would then have the power to throw legislation back to the commons as the current lords.
    * If the commons tries to use the Parliament act to force something through the lords, then the lords can have absolute power to block it with a 2/3rds majority of the lords.

    That’s what kind of reform I’d like to see anyway.

  11. Stuart Fairney
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Amazing, for 13 years the electoral system is delivering the results you like, so no problem there, but the day after you lose close on 100 seats, its "I'm taking my ball home" and lets change the system. Unreal.

  12. John Wood
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Knowing Mr Brown he will promise anything to remain at No. 10.

    Since he can't stay on with just the lib-dems (assuming the tories turn them down over PR) he will promise millions, if not billions, to scotland, wales and Northern Ireland.

  13. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    If this were the European continent (e.g. Germany) and politicians realized the huge problems that you've mentioned, they might want to strive for a grand coalition with a broad base of support.
    That would be a Con-Lab coalition, with David Cameron as prime-minister.
    How able will British politicians be to jump over their shadow and make compromises for the good of their country?

  14. Simon D
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Business as usual this morning with left-liberal politics for a left-liberal Britain voting for two left-liberal parties (Labour + LD). The issues are:

    1. How can Brown cling to Downing Street regardless of the electoral result?
    2. How can Clegg broker a coalition to deliver full PR even though his party has lost both votes and seats?

    Plenty of guff from Mandelson on the Today Programme but nothing said about the ridiculous system which favours Labour and which would have been cured by fewer MPs, constituencies of equal size and an end to the domination of English issues by Scottish MPs. That is the true electoral reform we need.

    Did the BBC have a good election? I would love to get into the BBC TV Centre to count the number of empty champagne bottles (or lack of them) but I don't have a pass. We won't know until we hear whether the hated Tories are excluded from power.

    The British public can now go back to sleep or watch reality TV show number 2 entitled "What (apart from dynamite) will get rid of Gordon Brown from Downing Street".

  15. lola
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    You certainly sound a little niggly this morning Mr R. Fatigue? But with what? Campaiging followed by an all nighter? Or with the continuation of the status quo?

  16. Javelin
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to add. I don't think that Cameron should agree to a referendum on PR timetable at the same time as Labour.

    Labour will want a referendum after 4 years. To keep the LibDems under check, and to stop the LibDems bailing out as soon as there was a YES referendum and forcing a new election.

    Cameron on the other hand could go short or long. If he goes short he could offer a referendum asap. Cameron should be able to read the results of a PR referendum from the current polling. I think the public are anti-PR at the moment – but this is a real risk. If however Cameron went long (like the Labour Party) then the LibDems would claim that after 4 years it proved that coalitions worked so PR would work – so the YES vote is more likely.

    Instead I would tell LibDems to sling their hook and let Labour and the LibDems get into bed together. I think the economy will do badly and there will be in-fighting for years between the libdems and Labour so a YES vote will be less likely. So a diffficult decision.

    An alternative option would be to offer the LibDems further separation from the Celts to give them greater power ad offer to redraw the election boundries to help the LibDems.

    But ultimately I don't see a Con-Lib pact as working, based on their policies. I understand that the Lib-Dem party needs to agree to a coaltion and I don't see them agreeing to form Government with the Conservatives when the Labour policies are so much closer to their own.

  17. ps
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Brown=Mugabe.

    How does that long serving African leader react when things don't go well at the ballot box?

    The Conservatives need to try and form a coalition with SNP or Liberals.

    They then need a full audit of the UK's financial position from the IMF or similar. This needs to be fully transparent to the whole electorate and once the actual information is clearly available Labours appalling legacy will be obvious.

    For as long as Brown stays in power he has the full might of the governments propaganda machine at his disposal to continue to destroy any hope of a lasting recovery.

  18. Stronghold Barricade
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I am probably going to agree with the sentiments, except for:

    1/ if the lib dems and Labour form a pact then they will have 50% of the vote, and they will then have to sort out the poison chalice of the economy.

    2/ if devolution to Scotland occured, or they sorted out the west lothian question then their majority would crumble

    Effectively all the parties have lost

  19. Javelin
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Sorry to post again but the BBC has just published the projected sizes of the blocks

    If you assume two party power blocks and SinnF 4 MPs dont turn up (then I think the majority is 322?)

    LAB: 261
    LD: 55
    TOTAL = 316

    CON: 306
    DUP: 8
    TOTAL = 314

    So to get to 322 the balance of power will be held by the SNP+PC, if the other blocks are as follows.

    SNP + PC: 9
    SDLP: 3
    IND UN: 1
    GREEN: 1

  20. DBC Reed
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    This is all very well but it is impractical to suggest that the Queen should depart from accepted conventions which point to Brown and attempt to interpret the mood of the electorate in a way which favours Cameron.Rules is rules: a position you'd expect Conservatives to hold to.The "arguments" for departing from precedent put up on the telly ,by Theresa May most notably, are embarrassing examples of the too frequent practice of carrying on talking uninterruptedly so as not to let somebody like Paxman get a word in.Ordinary people are onto this,you know,no matter how the political establishment esteems the worst offenders who often patch together rehearsed phrases without any regard for syntax so desparate are they not to pause for thought.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Labour and the LibDems seem more interested in changing the voting system than tackling the enormous economic crisis. Brown will do anything to cling on to power. Will the LibDems do anything to see the voting system altered? Talk about "fiddling while Rome burns"!

  22. backofanenvelope
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    First of all – congratulations on your re-election.

    Interesting isn't it? The main argument against proportional representation is that it leads to horse-trading post-election. Now the FPTP system we all love so much has delivered – horse-trading post-election.

  23. Jonathan Bryce
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    With the numbers I have at the time of writing, Labour and the Lib Dems don't have enough seats to form a majority.

    615 seats have declared, of which 4 went to Sinn Fein/IRA who never turn up. That means 306 seats are needed for a majority.

    Labour have 247, and the Lib Dems have 51, giving a collective total of 298. If the Alliance MP takes the Lib Dem whip, that gives them 299. If the 3 SDLP MPs take the Labour whip, that gives them 302. If Sylvia Hermon goes with Labour, they have 303. SNP has 6 seats and Plaid Cymru has 3. They might join the coalition, but SNP didn't do that in Scotland, and anyway, by now we have far too many different parties to form a workable government.

    Of course, I may find that by the time I hit the Submit button, things have changed again.

  24. Parlour Pachyderm
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I think it'll be reboot all-round over the next few months:

    1. Brown will lose his leadership

    2. Cameron will lose his leadership

    3. The UK is bankrupt(along with everyone else), there is no point in even attempting to pay it all off.

    4. The EU is on the ropes and it's unlikely it will survive that which is coming in the next few months, neither financially nor politically. No amount of freshly printed monopoly money will hold back reality here.

    A hung parliament is the best outcome for the Conservatives, it'll give them the space and time to purge the Alinsky/Mao devotees amongst their ranks, whilst allowing them to be a majority opposition with a real mandate. It's about the only thing that offers any hope in the entire mess!

  25. waramess
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Could this be just the smartest piece of political footwork ever seen? If so I will be obliged not only to take off my hat to David Cameron but I will have to eat it as well.

    A LibLab tie up to keep Brown in power will show all three parties in a light we have not seen before but will bring Cameron a landslide in the next election which will almost certainly be within a year.

    It will also provide the time to clearly allow the electorate to see what a crass disaster Brown has been with his economic handling of the economy.

    Shameless politics is a brush with which all politicians have now been painted but maybe if Cameron plays his cards right he will represent the only party to rid himself this label

  26. rb
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    All this election has shown is the strength and size of labour's client state comprised of those it has weaned on the teat of other people's money.

    I am sick that the tories could not sweep away this appalling government. Sicker still that within hours Harman is on tv saying that what is needed is an alliance between labour and lib dems to put through the economic policies of labour on the economy – the very policies that have just been rejected by the majority of voters. Her arrogance is breathtaking.

    Now (10.45) Clegg is indicating that the tories should be given the right to form a government, so Brown may be prised out of no. 10 with a crowbar later today, if there is any justice.

  27. Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Clegg must play this with a very straight bat if he wants electoral support in the next election, so must Cameron & the Labour leader. Clegg must offer to support the Tories in power before talking to anybody else. But he must be firm on making PR the prrice. It is then up to the Tories to decide what they want. I suspect if a 2nd election were fought purely on the question of PR the Conservatives would not do well. On the other hand, as I have said previously, because PR will give an opening to UKIP it is in no way a boon purely to the left.

  28. savonarola
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Too early for post mortem. David Cameron, to whom the Conservative Party should be indebted, mad a couple of tactical errors.

    Did not see the danger of televised debates introducing an unknown factor to muddy the waters. Too much about Broken Society when we are worried about Broken Economy(not enough KC). UKIP have cost us dearly.

  29. Robert George
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood, Congratulations. Sit tight

    UKIP voters, look at yourselves carefully in the mirror this morning. you are the reason the Tories do not have an overall majority,

    David Cameron, embrace the concept of single transferrable preferance voting, (ie 1234 etc). I know how it works in OZ and it will cost the Conservatives nothing in the longer term.

    David Drew, My vote helped turn you out in Stroud. You were one of the few Labour men who desrved any respect, a good constituency man. But my vote helped the Tory over the line – just.

    Finally no-one need despair if LIB/Lab form a coalition. Gordon will go and either Cable or the IMF will occupy the Chancellor's office – but not for long.

  30. Horse Trader
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    We should wait till the votes are in and study the Banzhaf power index?

    Whatever happens now, we can expect a return to the polls pretty soon.

    I personally would like an electoral system which unites rather than divides and I think the situation in Scotland is going to be very difficult for a potential Conservative Government.

    What is wrong with the current system is that minority parties with regional agendas have an unfair advantage on the minority parties with national agendas.

    Is it time for a modified form of PR which rewards vote share progressively?

    Is there a compromise electoral reform program?

    Time for the Conservatives to think the unthinkable…

  31. Robert
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    He's never HAD the common touch, the feel of the electorate since the late 90's.

    He lost all his dignity with his squalid attempts to frighten the electorate, smear his opponents before finally attempting to butter up the libs; he's like a man getting progressively more and more drunk at a party.

    He never had any spine

    No he's got no mandate.

    (personal abuse removed)

  32. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    So Nick Clegg has quite rightly promised David Cameron the first go. We all have our own idea of what is negotiable and what is not; so here is mine:

    Voting 'reform' with AV: The difficuly will be getting the Conservative Party to vote for it. The alternatives are a 3 line whip provided that AV is for one election, or a 2 line whip if AV is proposed for good.

    In an emergency budget, Labour's proposed deficit of £163 bn must be reduced by at least £30 bn. Absolutely not negotiable.

    Public expenditure cuts in the emergency budget should maximise efficiency savings achievable in this FYR and should include the very good LibDem idea of scrapping Strategic Health Authorities. Look at the two manifestos to maximise agreement.

    Include the Trident replacement in the defence review. £100 bn is just too much money for nuclear weapons.

    No immigration amnesty. Not negotiable. Quota system to be agreed.

    The Conservative Party must be free to plan and negotiate a changed relationship with the EU, although implementation will have to wait. No to the Euro at any price. Freedom to criticise the conduct of the Franco-German alliance.

    LibDems can have their £10000 income tax threshold provided that the standard rate of income tax is raised to compensate; no reduction of the total income tax take.

    VAT adjustment to ensure that total tax revenue is 38.5% of GDP.

    Postpone the inheritance tax cut in exchange for no mansion tax.

    Are we targetting a six month Con/Libdem coalition or an 18 month Con/LibDem coalition?

    If we can't get agreement, offer the LibDems the chance to govern for 6 months on their own – i.e. do not support a 'no confidence' motion during that period.

  33. martin sewell
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    He spoke of his "duty" to ensure stable secure and " principled" Government, which is code for "Nobody but me".

    I am reminded of the quote " The harder he spoke of his honour – the faster we counted the spoons".

  34. Peter Stroud
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Clegg has now endorsed David Cameron's right to govern

  35. Eotvos
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood congratulations on retaining Wokingham.

    The election result was not surprising and the failure of Messrs Cameron and Osborne to comprehensively defeat the most corrupt, dishonest, misanthropic government in British history, was predictable.

    You allude to the 'mood of the country' and the 'spirit of the election' but the Brown/Clegg duo won't be giving a damn about such sentimentality. They are only interested in political power and the welfare of the electorate and the country will not be part of the equation.

    Another election soon. Wilson waited six months when he had a slim majority.

    The Conservatives should have won this election with a thumping majority. It would be otiose on this blog going into why they did not.

  36. Mark
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    "It's within the rules" was the phrase used to defend those who cheated on expenses from a moral, common sense standpoint. It is perhaps the epitaph of the outgoing government.

    We need to expose the true state of the nation – something that the debate in advance of this election has failed to do for the population as a whole – and then put a programme to tackle the problems forward at a fresh election. The markets may not allow long for this process, but that is clearly what they now expect.

  37. Antonia
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    History tells us that Gordon Brown will listen to no-one but his own ignorant and self-promoting self. The Labour voters have been scared and bullied into believing Labour will be the people's only savior and no doubt Gordon Brown is utterly convinced he is indefatigable. The time is now for Gordon Brown to comprehend that the people of this country may be forgiving, kind and tolerant but their patience has run run out.

  38. Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    The worst thing Dave Cameron could do at this moment should be to say anything about this. The Prime Minister sitting in No.10 trying to form a Lib-Lab-SNP-PC-DUP pact many would find unpopular. Nick Clegg making the overtures and the Conservatives stressing the need for decisive leadership in the National Interest is the best policy.

  39. Phil Clark
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Does [only] 36% "ish" [of the electorate's] positive endorsement of Conservative policies give that party the mandate to govern either? (personal abuse left out-ed)

  40. Mark J
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see a Con-Lib Dem Coalition Government. That way the best of the Right (Con) and Left (Lib Dem) wing policies can be looked at to create a balanced Government that caters for over 17 million people that voted Conservative and Liberal Democrat.

    I think offering the chance of electoral reform to a form of PR voting (that will probably be rejected by the majority of the UK in a referendum) is a small price to pay in keeping out Labour.

    By doing so could also be a chance to shed the "snobby" image that is still seen by some individuals within Labour and Lib Dem ranks, proving that the Conservatives really do mean change.

  41. Posted May 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    >>More to the point, could such a coalition start to tackle the huge fiscal and economic problems that now confront us?<<

    Of course not. They would spiral frighteningly into oblivion and take us all with them.

  42. THE ESSEX GIRLS
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    What an absolutely fascinating 24 hours!

    We've just watched DC's 2.30pm speech and feel he struck the ideal tone in judging the public mood to perfection. To offer the olive branch to the deflated Lib-Dems and create a relationship capable of lasting is wise and productive for the Conservatives AND the country.

    We believe the Tories have made heavy weather of the election by ignoring a marketing approach of the kind that we and the Essex Boys advocated so strongly and frequently here. We understand that the campaign will be critically analysed by many party members and we shall be pleased to contribute constructively again.

    However we are not unhappy at the likely outcome if Cameron and Clegg can forge a mature and principled working arrangement over the weekend.

  43. Cardinal Richelieu&#
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Valid though what you write may be, it overlooks the fact that the electorate deserve Mr Brown as their Prime Minister.

  44. Posted May 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    And, if this happens, should the law-abiding silent majorirty stay law-abiding and silent?

  45. Liz
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Mr Brown will hang on in there and use every device and ruse he can think of to stay Prime Minister until such time as his fingers are prised one by one from the levers of power. He certainly does not care a hoot for the mood of the country. The main loser was the Electoral Commission who seem incapable of constructing same size constituencies resulting in a contorted result and incredible scenes at polling stations where voters were turned away. I just wonder what the "observers" are going to say.

  46. John
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    This morning's announcement by Brown was just typical of the misguided rubbish the man comes out with. The election was barely 12 hours and already there he was – reminding us why so many of us absolutely detest the man and what he stands for.

    For all his talk about his 'duty to lead a strong Government' Brown has not the sense to accept that it is not a question of duty, it's a question of democratic mandate, given freely by the people.

    This is something that Brown has NEVER understood, and one of the reasons he has always been so completely unsuitable as a Prime Minister.

    Watching Brown attempt to cling onto power by what remains of his grubby bitten fingernails is just so ungracious and undignified. There is no depth he won't stoop to to try and cling on. I'm appalled by him, and almost grateful that Nick Clegg seems likely to put an end to this circus act of an ex-Government.

  47. gac
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    The strength of Mr Brown is that he never accepts that he could be wrong hence in his mind the loss of a hundred or so votes is irrelevant – this obstinate mindset is also his major weakness from which the Nation now suffers and the consequence if which will last a decade or so. As you have pointed out on many occasions!

    The interesting conundrum for mr Clegg is whether he lives up to hie election hype and supports the Conservatives in getting us out of this mess – without personal aggrandissment for himself – or does he accept the lure of Office and sell the Country down the drain with Labour?

    We shall soon know.

  48. JimF
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes it begs the question what if the Libdems and Labour results were transposed, would Brown still be there claiming his place as PM when they had been all but wiped out? All within the rules, then the rules are wrong. Quite simply the largest party should be in no. 10 doing the deals.
    Never mind, if he's still there in 4-5 days he'll be the one finally hit with the $hit.

  49. a-tracy
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on regaining your seat.

    What a mess though! You win yet you lose.

    I hope that the Conservatives immediately announce an English Assembly will be created to vote on just those devolved items that the Irish, Scottish and Welsh separate associations get to vote on e.g. the English NHS, the English Education System. With no input from the Scottish MP's, we English don't need another layer of representatives we are happy to trust our national MP's to vote on these matters and we believe in value for money from English Members of Parliament without adding another layer of unnecessary costs in a separate assembly.

  50. Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    The question is will Clegg put country before party, and will his party follow him anyway ?

  51. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Down here on the ground, it puts paid to our independent school, I should have thought.
    There were two highly paid teachers for just one naughty little boy at our Centre on Thursday. If it pays to be naughty (he was even bought some pop and a cake) then, won't everyone become naughty?
    The sheer rudeness and powerlessness of the teachers has been underlined for me by two completely independent witnesses recently.
    One teacher actually apologised to a lady who had come in to help when a girl was just appallingly rude. But, of course, the girl got off scott free.
    There are tens of millions of pounds promised, too, to make the place an eco thinggy like the Eden Project. That means planning bllight for the next ten years or so and children being educated on a building site.
    So, let's face it, our awful Comprehensive is here to stay.

  52. david
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Well John, I suppose you'll be supporting Cameron when he does his deal with Clegg, how many seats in the cabinet do you think the Libdems shoud have? Still your ol' friend Ken Clarke will be happy, he'll be surrounded by his Europhile friends, then the sell out to Brussels can then begin in earnest.

  53. Freeborn John
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    With 21 more seats you would be singing "I feel like i win when i win".   

    Bolton West: Labour 18,329; Conservative 18,235; UKIP 1,901
    Derby North: Labour 14,896; Conservative 14,283; UKIP 829
    Derbyshire NE: Labour 17,948: Conservative 15,503; UKIP 2,636
    Dorset mid & Poole: Labour 21,100; Conservative 20,831; UKIP 2,109
    Dudley North: Labour 14,923; Conservative 14,274; UKIP 3,267
    Great Grimsby: Labour 10,777: Conservative 10,063: UKIP 2,043
    Hampstead & Kilburn: Labour 17,332; Conservative 17,290; UKIP 408
    Middlesbrough South: Labour 18,138; Conservative 16,461; UKIP 1,881
    Morley (Ed Balls): Labour 18,365; Conservatives 17,264; UKIP 1,506
    Newcastle-Under-Lyme: Labour 16,393; Conservatives 14,841; UKIP 3,491
    Plymouth Moor View: Labour 15,433; Conservatives 13,845; UKIP 3,188
    Solihull: Liberal 23,635; Conservatives 23,460; UKIP 1,200
    Somerton & Frome: Liberal 28,793; Conservatives 26,976; UKIP 1,932
    Southampton Itchen: Labour 16,326; Conservatives 16,134; UKIP 1,928
    St Austell & Newquay: Liberal 20,189; Conservatives 18,877; UKIP 1,757
    St Ives: Liberal 19,619; Conservatives 17,900; UKIP 2,560
    Telford: Labour 15,977; Conservatives 14,996; UKIP 2,428
    Walsall North: Labour 13,385; Conservatives 12,395; UKIP 1,737
    Walsall South: Labour 16,211; Conservatives 14,456; UKIP 3,449
    Wells: Liberal 24,560; Conservatives 23,760; UKIP 1,711
    Wirral South: Labour 16,276; Conservatives 15,745; UKIP 1,274

    Reply: My point exactly – why do UKIP always want to deliver it to the federalists?

    • Eotvos
      Posted May 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      You are wrong. The point being made here is why did Cameron not avoid this situation? This was predictable and the polls did not give him a clear enough lead. Instead of wasting time talking to Ulster politicians he should have called Pearson and Farage.

      Now, apparently, he is doing a deal with his political enemies.

      Mrs Thatcher, when asked why she did not give Heath a position in the cabinet replied, "In politics you do not negotiate with your enemies, you destroy them."

      Cameron/Osborne/Hilton/Boles/Alinsky – how much input did you have with regard to Conservative policy? The campaign was a shambles.

      The blogs of Messrs Heffer, Delingpole and Lord Tebbit say it all.

      Let Brown stay in No 10 and get rid of Cameron before the next election in six months.

  54. backofanenvelope
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I have just watched the breakfast TV and the overwhelming impression I get is that as an ordinary voter none of it is anything to do with me! No one wants to know what I want; no one is going to ask me. They will cook up a deal in secret and we'll be stuck with it.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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