James Forsyth

The best possible news for the Tories

The best possible news for the Tories
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Gordon Brown’s announcement that the Liberal Democrats have requested formal coalition talks is the best news that the Conservative party has had since the polls closed on Thursday. David Cameron can now say that his party has negotiated in good faith and that his broad, comprehensive, and open offer to the Lib Dems is on table and they can take it or leave it.

If the Lib Dems do end up going into coalition with Labour they would completely discredit themselves and be slaughtered at any subsequent election, remember getting PR through the Lords would take at least a year. The markets would also not be impressed by a coalition that would not be able to take any tough decisions on the deficit.

But if the Lib Dems can’t agree a deal with Labour then they would have to take what the Tories are currently offering them. There is also a possibility that the markets begin to get jittery by the middle of the week and the Lib Dems would come under immense pressure to come to a deal.