The British political landscape was transformed tonight by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the master strategist as ever, stealing the show in a dramatic and historic day. The great clunking fist floored his opponents with a left hook they didn’t see coming. His spectacularly-timed announcement on the steps of Downing Street blowed the Tory-Liberal talks out of the water and created havoc in the Tory parliamentary meeting, forcing them to up their offer to a referendum on AV voting system.
The media are speculating that this is a plan hatched up by Lord Mandelson and now the un-official chief advisor the the Prime Minister, Alastair Campbell throughout the weekend. They believed Labour could do what seemed impossible and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Now the negotiations it seems, may not be going so well. Senior Lib Dems are saying they feel the top Labour team are not serious on a deal, they feel they are more interested in the Labour leadership. They also feel that a coalition with Labour would not be stable, as Labour rebels would not back voting reform.
The pendulum is swinging from Labour/Lib Dem to Conservative/Lib Dem, by the hour. On Monday night it seemed that a deal with Labour was now odds on favourite, but now by Tuesday afternoon, a deal with the Conservatives. Then again, who knows, Brown and Mandelson might scupper this again.