Nick Clegg: poll defeats, fewer MPs but kingmaker in waiting

Posted on: 07 May 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves

The general election: democracy in action. Gordon Brown has 'lost his mandate to govern'\; thousands of voters were denied their right to vote\; Nick Clegg's Lib Dems now have fewer MPs but, ironically, hold the power in Westminster as Britain wakes up to a hung Parliament.

I’m waiting to see if my single vote for the Liberal Democrats has resulted in the removal of the Labour incumbent from my constituency! That said, across the country the Lib Dem vote has failed to carry the momentum it promised. At this time in the morning (06:46 Friday) the Liberal wins looks likely to bring them fewer seats in the new parliament than they had before.

Nick Clegg must, as he drives home for a sleep, reflect on the irony that with fewer seats he is likely to be the Kingmaker of any new government. At the present time, Labour has less votes and less seats than the Tories but has the right as the incumbent party to try and form a government.

The next few hours will crystallise the actual voting results and give a clearer picture of which party has the best chance to govern. Brown is a greedy man and I’m pretty certain he will faff around trying to form a government. The power will lie in the hands of Nick Clegg, yet he has said that it would be morally corrupt for the party with the least actual votes to govern the country.

If he betrays that statement and forms a coalition with Brown, he will undermine Lib Dem credibility for the next 50 years! He will make the play over the next few days and only time will tell whether or not he is a man of principle.

My view is that Brown will horse trade with anyone (including the Big Issue vendor at the station!) to give himself a chance of retaining the top job! In the end, David Cameron will be the next Prime Minister either by forming a coalition with the Ulster Unionists and/or the Liberal Democrats (or even both). By the middle of next week we will be shot of Gordon Brown and his cronies and then we enter territory uncharted for several generations - coalition government.

The destiny of our economy will very much be set and we’ll see what the world thinks of the situation when the markets open this morning. For us mere mortals the outcome will be as good as we could have expected. Whatever the result any new government will have to shelve its more extreme policies and bring some moderation to the next few months. This will be good for the country! Some of you will remember that in February I was calling for a Government of National Unity – well, we haven’t quite got that but we are more than half way there.

My money is on Cameron and the Liberals tucking themselves up in the same bed for a few months. We certainly won’t have to wait for five years for the next general election. The next few months will be interesting to say the least! Let’s just hope the financial markets don’t punish us too much!

There were some good stories during the night. The BNP made a very poor showing and their forecast victory in Barking was dismal where Margaret Hodge (Labour) increased her majority! Well done that lady!

Jacqui Smith (the former Home Secretary with the husband with a penchant for government-funded pornography!) lost her seat as did a few other ‘expenses fiddler’ MPs. The Green Party got their first seat in Brighton – a good result!

The giggle of the night was Gordon Brown’s statement he made speaking after his re-election in Scotland – "I look forward to playing my part in helping create a strong, stable and principled government!"

Good sentiments Gordon – now play that part and go to the Palace and resign!

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