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If Liam Byrne is right my 12-1 “hung parliament no coalition” bet could be a winner

June 16th, 2013

He suggests LAB would go for minority government if it fell short

Last July I got a three figure sum on at Hills at 12/1 that GE2015 could produce another hung parliament but the largest party would would try to govern on its own without a coalition.

My argument at the time was that I cannot see either the Tories or the Lib Dems wanting to enter into another coalition because there’s too much bad blood on both sides. My sense also was that there is so much residual hostility within the Labour movement to the Lib Dems that it would be hard for Ed Miliband to go down the coalition route even if that is what he wanted.

That view is reinforced today by an interview in the Sunday Times (££) today with the former Treasury Secretary, Liam Byrne. In it he says that they could achieve more without entering into a partnership with the Liberal Democrats. The current government is so weak it has “given coalitions a bad name” and says his party must “study that lesson hard”.

The challenge with trying to go on its own, as seen in the wonderful National Theatre production, This House, on the 1974-79 parliament, is how does a minority government get its business through? They could be held to ransom at any time by their own MPs as well as small groups from other parties.

    The bland assumption seen by some CON and LAB figures that the LDs or other groupings would give the largest party a “supply and confidence” arrangement is pure wishful thinking. Why should they?

Everything, of course, depends on the numbers and at the moment the polls are pointing to a big LAB majority.

If EdM’s team do fall short then I can see a big argument over the next step with Mr. Byrne clearly on the no deal side.

Mike Smithson

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