James Forsyth

The morning after the election before

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Before the final leaders' debate, the studio audience was kept entertained by the screening of an episode of Yes Minister. It was an appropriate choice given that an indecisive result will give the mandarins huge power as they advise the parties on how to make a deal and the palace on who to invite to form a government once Brown has failed to do so.

If David Cameron does not win an overall majority, I expect he’ll move straight onto the attack: demanding that Gordon Brown recognises he has no mandate to govern and that Nick Clegg rules out any deal with Labour. As I write in the Mail on Sunday, the nightmare for Labour is the party being clearly beaten in terms of both votes and seats but the Tories just missing out on a majority and Brown then trying to cobble together a government, as he’d be constitutionally entitled to do in the circumstances. This would be seen by the public as the ultimate example of the political class’s detachment from reality.

Having said all this, my feeling is that the Tories have just enough momentum to get over the line. They are ticking up in the polls and that combined with the certainty of their supporters to vote and their strong performance in the marginals suggest they should get a majority.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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