Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The constitutional small print

Well this is an interesting article by George Eaton in the New Statesman:  http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/05/why-odds-still-favour-labour-year-go

Although I am anticipating (and working for) a Conservative victory in 2015 I admit that the situation is fluid.  Anything could happen.  The Lib Dems could do so badly in the Euro elections that they ditch Clegg and bring in a leader who attracts back all those Lib Dem strays to Labour.  Nigel Farage could do a deal with the Conservatives that sees a "dream ticket" (I use the phrase ironically) of UKIP backing the Tories in return for thirty UKIP seats at Westminster.  The Conservatives could so thoroughly piss off their own supporters (perhaps by letting Ken Clarke or Michael Heseltine loose on the Today programme) that they stay at home on election day.  Labour's internal infighting, continuously bubbling and seething, could boil over into recriminations that cost them public credibility.  

But let us indulge George Eaton and consider his suggestion "One possibility increasingly discussed in Westminster is that the Tories win the most votes, while Labour wins the most seats".

How would it be possible for Ed Miliband, espousing a One Nation ideology, to form a government in such circumstances?  According to the constitutional small print he could do so, but morally he would be leading a bankrupt administration.  Especially with the flawed constituency boundaries delivering a bonus to Labour that they are not entitled to.

Mr Milband places great stress on ethical behaviour.

Surely if he does not win the majority of the votes the ethical way forward would be to allow the Conservatives to form a minority government to correct the electoral distortions followed by a new general election.

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