Given the countless hours dedicated to the prospect of coalition-forming post-election, it seems like every permutation has been examined. However, there seems to be one outcome that few people have mooted: a Labour-Conservative coalition.
Although this may seem like sacrilege, in reality Cameron and Miliband have much in common (a point their enemies will be more willing to concede than their friends).
They are both firm believers in the Union (which the rise of the SNP has made a major issue in this campaign) and their economic and social policies actually differ relatively little. Miliband and Cameron spend most of their time emphasising their differences, but their similarities are far more numerous.
Under such a coalition, the party winning the most seats could take 10 and 11 Downing Street, and the party that came second could take the Foreign and Home Offices.
Rebranding as a “Government of National Unity” to deal with the ongoing economic crisis would be statesmanlike, and given that two-thirds of voters are likely to vote for either Labour or Conservative, it will enjoy one of the largest mandates in British history.
In Germany, Angela Merkel has governed a similar coalition after the past two elections, and their robust economy is evidence for its success.
I’m not saying that this outcome is what I want; even less do I think it will happen. I am just surprised it hasn’t been discussed. One of my politics students, when faced with this issue, described the contemporary German political system as being more “mature”. I think that’s a fair summary.
History and politics tutor
Nicola Sturgeon has been polishing her feminist credentials lately. No doubt she concurs that when a woman says no, she must be taken to mean no. So how often does one particular man, Ed Miliband, have to keep saying no before she believes him?
Badgering and insulting aren’t likely to change his mind. Just accept that being First Minister doesn’t mean you can always have your own way.