What has been quite remarkable is how in the space of a week the whole way we are looking at the next general election has been transformed. Last Tuesday morning nobody really doubted that the Tories would retain C&A with a clear majority and few were ready to voice doubts about BoJo’s ability to lead his party to another majority at the next election.
Now after C&A things look very different and experts like John Curtice are talking about the possiblity of the Tories dropping enough seats that would be enough to deprive them of a majority. I don’t know whether it was Curtice who coined the term “uncoalitionable” but few dounbt that it would be a struggle for BoJo to find partners to prop up a government if the Tories dropped 40-50 seats.
The half dozen MPs that the blue team have north of the border were already in doubt. Now we should add those Tory seats in areas that voted remain and where the LD are in second place – that’s about 80 of them. A blue seat total of 317 or less looks a possibility. In that situation it is hard to see who BoJo would look to for support to remain in power.
Clearly the LDs won’t prop up a Tory government and there must be real doubts about getting the DUP on board. When LAB had Corbyn as its leader there was a very powerful argument for the DUP not to let the red team get anywhere near power. The Starmer-led official oppositon presents a very different challenge.
All this leads to the conclusion that the Tories need a majority to retain power.