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Can Cameron win a Leveson vote? The Commons arithmetic untangled

On Monday evening the division bell will ring in parliament and MPs will vote for the future of Britain's press. It won't be clear, from the tweets of MPs emerging from the voting lobbies, which side is going to win. That's because this Lib-Lab vs Cameron standoff puts the Commons on a knife-edge. There's a reason the prime minister voluntarily used the phrase "hung parliament" in his press conference in Downing Street this morning.

The Conservatives currently have 303 MPs, down three from their 2010 general election total. That contrasts with Labour's 255. With Nick Clegg's party joining Ed Miliband's - they are also steady on 57 following their Eastleigh by-election hold - the Lib-Lab alliance tots up 312 votes, nine ahead of the Tories. Even if it were a straightforward standoff between the three main parties, this would be a close one.

And then there's the minority parties. I've been ringing round their offices and have found them all a-flutter. Normally shunned into irrelevance by their small stature in parliament, it's on these rare occasions when their voting intentions really matte

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 14th, 2013 at 09:30:24 AM EST
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