Sunday, 9 May 2010

How much time is there

So it appears that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat talks have not so far yielded fruit. We were told this afternoon, after the days' talks had finished, what they have been discussing, but not whether the gap is unbridgeable.

William Hague said "We are agreed that a central part of any agreement that we make will be economic stability and the reduction of the budget deficit" apparently in an attempt to calm the markets, but it remains to be seen whether they will remain calmed once the main markets reopen tomorrow.

From that point of view, I am not convinced that there is a lot of time remaining. My view on Friday, which is here, was that the most likely outcome was a Liberal Democrat undertaking for the time being to vote with the Conservatives or abstain at the Queen's Speech and on budget/taxation matters, and I am a little surprised that the Liberal Democrats have not by now at least given some indication in that direction. If we do end up with another election in a few weeks' time, which seems the likely outcome were the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to fail to agree something, I suspect the Liberal Democrats will be significantly punished by the voters, as well as showing themselves as a party which prefers to bleat from the sidelines rather than to be taken seriously and accept the burdens of office.

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