THERE’S nothing the Liberals love better than to pretend playing kingmaker in the run-up to general elections.
James Forsyth over at The Spectator Coffee House has picked up on comments by Vince Cable to the effect that the Liberals will only do a deal with the “moral victor” at the election; and interestingly he defines “moral victory” not as winning the highest number of votes, but winning the largest number of seats in the Commons.
Isn’t that an odd definition from a leading Liberal? I would have thought that their blind, religious devotion to proportional representation would have obliged them to count votes before seats.
I hasten to add that I’m not anticipating a hung parliament (nor a Tory victory, before you ask). But if we have the disaster of a hung parliament inflicted upon us, frankly I don’t mind if any MP of whichever party wishes subsequently to vote to implement a Labour manifesto. However, if the Liberals reckon they can persuade either the Tories or Labour to concede the scrapping of first-past-the-post, they have another think coming.
Whatever the result of the next election, I’m certain there will still be a clear majority in support of the current electoral system. And very few of us would consider sacrificing it for the very dubious privilege of making the Liberals a permanent partner in a coalition government for the rest of time.
So Vince and his pals should perhaps spend a little less time looking through the ministerial Toyota Prius catalogue and more time campaigning to hold on to the seats they already have.