"I can't believe how much they've offered us. The Tories have basically rubbed out their manifesto and inserted ours. We'll have to cope for four or five years with our flesh creeping, but still," - a left-leaning Lib-Dem member of parliament to Michael Crick.

We'll find out soon enough. I should say I am not opposed to the referendum on AV or instant run-off voting. My concern is that Britain continues to have a one-member-one-constituency system, to ensure direct representation and avoid too much power going to party elites. Under AV, the Liberals would do much better - but Britain would also have a chance to retain strong, clear, one-party governments.

In some ways, too, this outcome allows Cameron to ditch the Tory right. I suspect there will be grumbling among the ranks, and that William Hague, the chief negotiator for Cameron, will once again be delegated to bring them on board.

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