Latest Speculation

The Speccie’s Fraser Nelson says the deal is on it just has to be sold to the Tory parliamentary party, half of whom are freshly minted, and the rank and file.

A deal looks likely to be agreed by Clegg and Cameron tomorrow morning, put to backbench MPs in the afternoon and then Brown will advise the Queen to send for Cameron on Tuesday.

Newsnight’s Paul Mason, who is as plugged into the Labour Party as Fraser is to the Conservatives, says the lights are going out and many want to “go gracefully into opposition and do it soon”. On the leadership issue

if the David Miliband camp and the Jon Cruddas camp were to get together it would make David Miliband hard to stop… This is being mooted but is not a done deal. Since Harriet Harman has ruled herself out of seeking the leadership [Has she really? Guido] I can see Ed Miliband emerging as a candidate backed by parts of the union movement (eg the GMB) who don’t want an alliance with David Miliband. Ed Balls would be backed to the hilt by the existing party machine, Unite and to an extent the “old Labour” left; also the Scottish Party.

The Labour NEC meets on Tuesday and Labour officials are in a rolling meeting schedule until then to decide how to respond if the party goes into opposition. One told me to expect civil war between the Brown “machine” and all those hitherto excluded from it, from the moment the PM leaves office.

Labour is heading for irrelevance…



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Andy Burnham, an MP at Westminster since 2001:

“I’m not a Westminster politician. Never have been.”

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