Voting for a hung parliament

I find myself  praying nightly for a hung parliament. Partly because I  want to see some long overdue political reform, but mainly, I have to confess, out of  morbid curiosity to see what happens when the old system finally implodes.

On a purely personal level it will probably mean another election soon (the Tories are already tapping up their donors, apparently).  As purdah has stopped much of the work I’ve been doing in its tracks and put a serious dent in my cash flow, that won’t be good for business. (Although I suppose no one within touching distance of the public sector will be able to afford to do anything at all soon, so I’ll be forced to diversify either way!)

For once I wish I was back inside a Department just to see this unfolding from the inside.  The one general election campaign fought  when I was working in Whitehall felt like a foregone conclusion.  Lip service was paid to the possibility that things might change, but no-one really believed that it would.   I remember writing lots of pointless briefing on the state of policy for new Ministers who I knew wouldn’t be walking through the door, and doing lots of compare-and-contrast of party manifestos to prepare colleagues for change that we knew wasn’t going to happen.  It must feel very different in there now.  For fellow obsessives, here’s the BBC’s take on what happens in a hung parliament and what Gus O’Donnell has said about  the roles civil servants might play.


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