— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) November 12, 2012
This could decide the general election
Judging from press reports and other initiatives over the weekend the Tories have launched a multi-pronged effort to try to secure the new parliamentary seat boundaries which give them a 20 seat bonus and make the possibility of a majority that bit more possible.
The first focus has been on their coalition partners the Lib Dem who pulled out of supporting the deal when Cameron had to abandon the reform of the House of lords because of July’s big backbench rebellion.
Informal soundings are going on to see if there is a way a getting the yellows back on board. The problem is that after humiliating Nick Clegg on the Lords plan the LDs it is hard to see a way through.
The second focus has been to try to do a deal with one of the smaller parties like the DUP, Plaid, or the SNP. There would, of course, be a price for their support.
A huge problem for Cameron is his ability to deliver his rebellious MPs to anything that’s agreed – as we saw with the Lords.
The more votes against the government like on the recent EU budget motion the weaker Dave’s position is.
Plaid is said to be looking for significant transfer of powers to the Welsh assembly in exchange for the new boundaries which reduce the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 30.
The DUP is said to want a deal on cheaper air passenger duty for long-haul flights from Belfast.
Meanwhile the overall parliamentary arithmetic is set to weaken the blue position even more this week with the expected loss in the Corby by-election.
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