Martin Bright

So Who’s the Senior Partner in this Coalition?

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The choreography of the new coalition is designed to make this look like a partnership of equals. But I'm increasingly convinced that Nick Clegg pulled a masterstroke here. This really is a joint premiership. Someone suggested I take a look at the full coalition document  on the Cabinet Office website to see just how much the Liberal Democrat leader had wrung from his Tory counterpart in the negotiations. The most striking phrase is: "... will be agreed between the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister", which litters the document. The "I agree with Nick" slogan used by the Lib Dems during the election campaign has thus become embedded in the constitutional agreement. This is an astonishing achievement from Clegg, who has effectively ended up in Downing Street after gaining fewer seats in parliament than his predecessor. 

One of the choicest ironies of the 2010 election is that the major party fewest people voted for now has a juicy slice of power.