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Election 2015: Why a Rainbow Coalition can’t be ruled out 

| 10.02.2015

It’s too close to call in terms of seat share ahead of this May’s General Election, according to Ladbrokes’ political odds compiler Matthew Shaddick’s politicalbookie.com.

As the graphic below outlines, if the favourite wins in every seat then neither the Conservatives nor Labour come close to reaching the magic number 326 that enable’s either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to hotfoot it straight to Buckingham Palace on the morning of May 8th.


Labour are actually down by nine seats on the last calculation a week ago, although with all of them going to the SNP that won’t cheer the Tories too much. The other parties are unchanged.

Shaddick tips up a Labour minority government to be the result of the election at 5/1, by the rationale that the SNP and Plaid Cymru, who would both do anything to keep the Tories out, would likely prop up Ed Miliband’s crowd for a time if they win the most seats.

The other potential outcome based on these numbers is a Labour/Liberal Democrat/SNP coalition at 12/1, which doesn’t seem out of the question.

Alex Salmond attempted to form such a ‘Rainbow Coalition’ after the last election, prior to the formation of the current administration, but the maths didn’t work out.

That shows they were willing, and while the political landscape has changed in Scotland, new SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon would struggle to justify non-cooperation with two fellow centre-left/left parties.

We know Ed Miliband’s as close to a Socialist as you’re allowed to be in today’s Labour party, and Tim Farron looks a good bet to lead the Lib Dems after the next election, with Nick Clegg facing a fierce challenge in Sheffield Hallam, where he’s a nervy 2/5 to hold his seat.

The Lib Dems’ seat total could be cut in half, while the SNP explode north of the border and Labour edge past the Tories. Who knows? They may finally be able to work together.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune