“Cameron came so near and yet so far,” write the directors of the elections centre at Plymouth University. “Just 16,000 extra votes for the Tories, distributed in the 19 constituencies in which the party came closest to winning, would have spared us a weekend of negotiation and speculation.”If this is accurate, then it is essential the Tories are kept out of Downing Street. They have talked about 'political reform,' but what that means is just jigging the system to suit themselves - boundary changes and other finangling to ensure that next time - which would be at a time suited to Mr Cameron rather than Mr Clegg - the correct result is delivered.
The Tories failed to win majorities in about 30 Labour-held marginal constituencies they had expected to win, suggesting that in some seats the extra funds of Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire party donor, were less effective than hoped.
Another reason why Cameron failed to win outright victory was because the Lib Dem swing to the Tories was just 1%. (1)
Cameron isn't interested in meaningful electoral reform. All he's interested in is securing these 16,000 votes that went astray. You can't balme him for that - the system favours his party (and the other lot) and he'd have to be stupid to open it up to allow a third party into the equation in a meaningful way. From his point of view, it is the 2010 result that is wrong, not the system that delivered it.
If the Liberal Democrats coalesce with the Tories - or tacit support a minority Cameron government - the opportunity this electoral anomaly affords will slip away. Unless the Liberal Democrats engage in a party wide fire sale of principle and sense, a Conservative-Liberal Democrat arrangement seems unlikely. Cameron and the Tories will give the Liberal Democrats what they need, and Nick Clegg can not accept what the Tories can offer.
If they do manage to forge (in all its meanings) some sort of arrangement, then the Liberal Democrats will be a bit like a sad, drunken floosie who, having been shagged and dumped by labour in 1997, hooks up with the Conservatives in 2010, hoping this will humiliate her ex - only to be, again, shagged and dumped when her current beau tires of her.
1 - "Conservatives hung by just 16,000 votes," by David Smith. Published in The Times, 9th of May, 2010. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7120733.ece)