PoliticalBetting.comhttp://www6.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2010/08/18/would-edm-prefer-being-in-opposition-rather-than-government/ ran a thread yesterday about the statment from Ed Miliband that he would demand Nick Clegg's resignation if he were the Labour leader seeking to negotiate a coalition deal with the Lib Dems.
The is political postuing on a grand scale, but says more about Ed Miliband and Labour's very tribal, bearing grudges, style of politics andfails to address the realities of being a responsible politician.
As is well known, the Lib Dems said Gordon Brown would have to go if the Lib Dems were ever to form a coalition with Labout after this year's General Election, and this seems to be the basis on which Ed Miliband is now making his rather petty comments. But it ought to be remembered that Gordon Brown lost his majority. Some of his back benchers were calling for his resignation on the night of the election, and at the end of the day, he himself felt he should resign as Labour leader, meaning any claims that the Labour Party felt he could stay on as Prime Minister were undermined by his resignation.
But what about the circumstances after the next election ? What about if the Lib Dems pick up a few more seats. this is no improbable given that nobody seems to be able to accurately predict Lib Dem performance. A matter of a year ago Tory bloggers and activists were claiming the Lib Dems would be chopped down to a rump 25-30 seats, and in April of this year polls were predicting the Lib Dems would get 85-90 seats. The reality saw the Lib Dems lose a handful of seats by a handful of votes on a slightly increased share of the vote. So if the Lib Dems do better in 2015 than in 2010, what would Ed Miliband do ? Demand the resignation of a man who has proved to have done well ?
I think the statement from Ed Miliband speaks more of his desperation as the Labour leadership election gets closer. He knows he is behind his brother and is now seeking to be seen as the anti Lib Dem candidate. It might work, in the short term, but he will be pushing himself in to a corner politically that he might not be able to get out of.
Note - I write as a Lib Dem who is not a supporter of the coaltion agreement.