By Harry Phibbs
Follow Harry on Twitter
Interviewed by Andrew Marr yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was asked whether the Lib Dems would choose a coalition with the Conservatives or Labour if the 2015 General Election delivers a hung Parliament.
Mr Clegg said that the formation of the Government would mostly depend on which of the main parties "got the clearest mandate from the British people - the most votes, the most seats and therefore has the democractic right to seek to assemble the Government."
It all sounds rather reasonable. But what if one Party gets most votes and another gets most seats?
Should the Labour Party get the most votes it is most unlikely that they will need to be bothering Mr Clegg and his colleagues. There is a website called Electoral Calculus which allows one to offer alternative scenarios for vote shares and see what the projection those would mean in terms of seats should a uniform swing apply.
Even if Labour were only a point ahead of the Conservatives - say 36 per cent to the Conservatives on 35 per cent and the Lib Dems on 14 per cent - Labour would practically have an overall majority. On the scenario I have given they would be just two seats short - given that Sinn Fein's five MPs don't turn up that is effectively an overall majority.
©2013 Conservative Home, All rights reserved