Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Working with the numbers

Just to put on screen (for my benefit more than anything else) the possible options of an outcome to the election in which we gave no party a majority.

Figures to note:  Conservatives are probably +1 from Thirsk & Malton (which is still to vote) and though Speaker John Bercow has been included in some Tory numbers, he will (likely) be Speaker and the Tories will finish on 307 (probably).  But for the moment, it is 306.  Second, Sinn Fein MPs are unlikely to take their 5 seats, which reduces the majority needed from 326 to 324.

Option 1:  
Conservative minority government
CON - 306 

Opposition:
LAB - 258  LD - 57  DUP - 8  
SNP - 6  PLAID - 3  SDLP - 3  
GREEEN - 1  ALLIANCE - 1
TOTAL - 337

Option 2:
Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government
CON - 306  LD - 57
TOTAL - 363

Opposition:
LAB - 258  DUP - 8  
SNP - 6  PLAID - 3  SDLP - 3  
GREEEN - 1  ALLIANCE - 1
TOTAL - 280

Option 3:
"Progressive Alliance"/ "Coalition of the Losers" government
LAB - 258  LD - 57
TOTAL - 315

Plus SDLP - 3  who probably take Labour whip
Plus ALLIANCE - 1 who probably take Lib Dem whip
TOTAL - 319

Plus support/ agreement not to vote down government from:
SNP - 6  PLAID - 3 GREEEN - 1
TOTAL - 329

Opposition:
CON - 306  DUP - 8
TOTAL - 314

Option 4:
Saying "bugger this, we can't agree - give us something we can work with" and going to the polls again (which may happen sooner rather than later if any of the above agreements come to fruition).

There are obviously other models (confidence and supply) but they seem to have been ruled out now that Gordon Brown has stepped down and the Tories have offered coalition (and, presumably, Cabinet seats) to the Liberal Democrats.

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