High Noon In London


The details of what looks like a Lib-Tory pact are dribbling out. They are pretty amazing (although they will have to be confirmed). Here's one:

Nick Robinson has been told by high-ranking Tory sources that Ken Clarke will become chancellor with Vince Cable as his deputy, while George Osborne will be demoted to the Department for Business. A bitter blow for the shadow-chancellor, if true.

Clarke is a very popular Tory grandee. Cable is an equally popular fiscal hawk among the Liberals. The markets will like this. The demotion of Osborne, one of the least popular of the Cameron clique, does not surprise me. This truly surprises me:

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson says the Con-Dem agreement to be announced imminently includes fixed term parliaments, starting now. Which means that there can't be a snap election - this coalition will have to last four years.

The Americanization of British politics continues. First the TV debates, now fixed parliamentary terms. If that's true, it means that the new government will not be a caretaker before another snap election, but a potential fusion of the Liberal and Tory brands over several years - perhaps the embryo of a whole new center-right party. It feels a little like Canada's Progressive Tories.