David Blackburn

The impediment to a Lib-Lab coalition

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Certainly, the Lib Dems’ current joy will prove transient; but for the first time since 1983 this is a three party race. As Pete


, Labour see Nick Clegg as the surest means to keep the Tories out of office. Even before the debate,

the normally cerebral Andrew Adonis was penning passionate articles appealing to Lib Dem support. Since the debate, the love-bombing campaign has become indiscriminate .

Love isn’t all you need. Labour will need nous to make the most of the opportunity Clegg has presented. Over at

"http://www.spectator.co.uk/live/">Spectator Live

, Will Straw argues that Labour should ‘play the long

game’ by being obsequious whilst airing the few differences there are between the two parties’ positions – an intriguing insight from a Labour blogger with the very highest


Straw is of course right. Labour must be deft if it is to convince liberals that a Brown government would reform from the centre. This raises the spectre of unionism

and the Labour party. Straw overlooks the topic but Clegg will not if he discusses a possible coalition. I suspect that dividing line is insurmountable.