At this stage in the general election, arguments are dual-use. Of course, they aim to maximise votes for a party and fire-up supporters, but they also serve a second function: to manipulate public perceptions of what happens on May 8th.
The Tories and Tory-supporting press have been on legitimacy duty for some time now. They want a pre-emptive victory. If, as expected, they are the party with the largest number of seats, they want any other party in government to be seen as illegitimate.
Polling suggests the public is open to this message. That’s unsurprising. It seems intuitive. The party with the most seats should surely be the one which forms a government.
But it’s false. The parliamentary system does not grant government to the party with the most seats, it grants it to the party which can command a majority in the Commons. That is not a constitutional technicality or a trick: it is a true expression of political will. If the polls stay as they are, Labour have the best case forRead More »from Even with fewer seats, Labour makes the best case for legitimate government