So, we have a Conservative PM heading a coalition government. I don’t think that’s surprising at all. What does surprise me is that there are still people – other than the knee-jerk Labour diehards or opportunists from the Celtic fringe – who think that the LibDems have made the wrong option.
I think Gordon Brown has earned a lot of respect for the way he’s conducted himself over the last couple of days. But, seriously, what else could the LibDems have done? There’s no way that a coalition with Labour would have worked, and even to try would have demonstrated utter contempt for democracy. They really only had three serious options: coalition with the Conservatives, a “confidence and supply” agreement with the Conservatives or to force a second election. The latter would very probably have resulted in a Conservative majority, which presumably they don’t want either, so some form of a deal is the only realistic course of action. All that matters, therefore, is how far they can push in in negotiations in order to get the best out of the agreement. Given that we don’t yet know the details of that agreement, I don’t think anyone can realistically accuse them of selling out or betraying anyone’s trust. Whether they got the right deal is something that only time will tell.