It sounds preposterous doesn’t it? Bear with me though.
Most of the polls put Labour and the Tories neck and neck with around 33% of the vote each and a forecast 280 seats. That would leave either party short of a working majority by 46 seats. Most polls put the SNP as the next biggest party with 40-50 seats. At the low end that is not enough for a two party coalition. Even if Salmond had enough seats to broker a majority, the animosity held by SNP voters for Labour in Scotland and for the Conservaties full stop would make a coalition deal nigh impossible.
Despite attracting around 15% of the popular vote the electoral system will probably deny UKIP more than 10 seats. The LibDems look like they’ll get around 25 so not enough for them to hold the balance of power this time around.
So what are we left with? A second election may produce the same result again. A three party coalition would require three parties that could work together and there are no combinations that fit that bill.
A Con Lab coalition starts to look a little more plausible doesn’t it? The fixed term parliament act provides for a five year term. The leader of the party with the higher share becomes PM. The leader of the other party steps down and his successor becomes Deputy PM in a government of national unity. These things happen in times of great strife. With chaos in Ukraine and the Middle East, the European Union rocked by the election of Syriza in Greece and the existence of the Union under enormous stress with the rise of Scottish nationalism this may be such a time.
This is the most complex general election in living memory. There is no predictable result, so an unthinkable outcome could be exactly what we get.