Hung Parliament in 2015?

Hung Parliament in 2015?
It’s early days to making such a big punt – but the talk right now across the Commons is that Britain is heading for another hung Parliament in 2015.

People I’ve been talking to across the spectrum are coming to the same conclusion.

There’s a seriously good chance of no clear winner in May 2015. The bookmakers are not even taking bets on this.

The arithmetic required for David Cameron to achieve his own outright majority is far harder to achieve than many think.

No wonder the PM defies his backbenchers and ministers by allowing Nick Clegg to demonstrate assertiveness.

Mr Cameron is well aware he may need the LibDem leader to form a new Coalition government in three years’ time.

And he may even need to be on very good terms with Mr Clegg – good enough to persuade him not to form a Coalition with Ed Miliband.

Put simply, Mr Cameron isn’t banking on a majority and we should read a lot into that.

As the excellent Tim Mongtomerie, editor of Conservative Home, says, the Tories have not performed well in a General Election since 1987.

They scraped through in 1992 and have struggled to get more than around 32% until notching up 36% in 2010 – still not enough for an outright thumping majority.

Senior Labour figures are right to say Ed Miliband – for all his weaknesses – is marshalling the debate around things like bank bonuses, excess pay and the “pinch in peoples’ pockets”.

The maths means that he only needs another four or five per cent of the electorate to win an election outright, even with the boundary changes pencilled-in.

They believe that many LibDems will jump straight into the arms of Labour at the next election, unhappy and disillusioned with Mr Clegg and his compromises.

Coalition government shared between Labour and the LibDems is not out of the question, a senior shadow minister told me very recently.

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