Saturday 2 May 2015

Why you can stop worrying about a Tory victory, part two

In the first part of this post I looked at Cameron's options that would enable him to cling to power like a leech to a corpse even with 300 seats. The conclusion was that he couldn't remain in office, and that Miliband, who I gave about 250 seats would take over as Prime Minister. The assumption that Tories make under such circumstances is that Labour would be out of office within weeks, but I want to argue now that Miliband's position would actually be far stronger than such doomsayers imagine.

Let's not forget that politics is above all about allocating resources, and a minority Labour government would immediately have a lot of resources to allocate to its new chums. For instance the assumption has always been that the DUP would side automatically with the Tories, but the Ulster party has made it quite clear that they are more than willing to listen to offers from Labour. What they want is money, of course, and Labour will be in a position to shovel some of that their way. Couple the DUP with the 3-5 seats that the Alliance, SDLP and Lady Harmon who are all ideologically in tune with Labour, anyway, should grab, and that is a potential 12-15 votes that Labour can count on in any motion of confidence, all for a measly few million.

For Plaid Cymru in Wales who are also a Labour leaning party, their three or four seats can probably be locked in  with more powers for the Welsh Assembly, maybe even by raising it to the Welsh Parliament, along with some more funding. The deal with the Welsh along with that of the Ulster parties could be along the lines of we give you this, and you vote for us on government bills as and when required. In the interim, you can all say what you like, just so long as we are not expected to listen to you.

The same is true for George Galloway of Respect and the Green's Caroline Lucas. Galloway hates the Tories more than he hates Labour, so a bit of what the Americans call walking about money to spread throughout his constituency may keep him happy. Lucas may be even easier to placate. Something for Brighton Pavilion and the chance to introduce some Green bill, which may or may not pass depending on circumstances could be her price.

Labour could probably even have UKIP on board if it was willing to give the Kippers a vote on Britain's membership of the European Union. Sadly that is unlikely to be on offer, so I shall put UKIP on the Tory side of the Commons for the moment. However, stranger things have happened in politics, and Labour was once the party that opposed the EU, but that was when the party had a real ideology to back its moves. Today it is a managerial machine, so it is hard to imagine a scenario that allows Miliband to offer a referendum to Farage.

The only potential problems that Labour faces are with the SNP and the Lib-Dems, who I put on 50 and 30 seats respectively for this debate. The SNP have made it plain that they want to lock the Tories out of office, so keeping them onside should be relatively easy. Money will form a part of it, but for the rest Labour is going to have to negotiate its major bills with both the SNP and the Lib-Dems. Compromises will have to be made over that legislation, but it is not the end of the world for that to happen, and in a crunch vote Labour may be able to rely on the support of one, discount the opposition of the other, and still get the bill passed.

Finally, Labour on about 250 seats is a Labour that has been reduced to its core vote in the big cities and council estates. That vote is basically made up of local government workers, people doing the McJobs who often rely on benefits to make up their wages, along with all the other claimants such as the unemployed and disabled. It would have actually lost seats to the Tories, probably in Southern England and the Midlands. If Labour can then go on to govern without the support of the aspirational scrote vote that Tony Blair worshipped when he wasn't sucking up to the super rich, then Labour's position could be fairly solid in the longer term as well.

It really all relies on Labour losing the big swinging dick attitude and being willing to compromise and negotiate with other parties; parties that are already in tune with Labour and who hate the Tories to begin with.

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