The polling is pretty clear. Neither Labour nor the Tories are expected to get an overall majority. Here's the BBC's election projection for tonight:
The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party of England and Wales have already agreed to cooperate with each other after the election, forming a Progressive Bloc across Britain. Their agreement created what is so far the most iconic image of the 2015 campaign, and one which is pretty indicative of the way things will go after the election:
Of course, if things go impossibly well for the SNP and Plaid Cymru, you'll see a Progressive Bloc that includes Six Plaid Cymru seats, 59 SNP seats, and one or two Green Party seats, too. This would give the progressive bloc a total of 66 seats, or 10% of the seats in the House of Commons. Under this formulation, Labour wouldn't need to talk to anyone besides the Progressive Bloc to form a government.
As far as the Irish parties are concerned, the left wing Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) would never support the Tories, saying in their election campaign that they are the only Northern Irish party that can turn back the Tory welfare cuts. The Northern Irish projections currently see the Anti-Tory SDLP and Sinn Fein taking 8 seats in Northern Ireland. Neither would support the Tories under any circumstances, with Sinn Fein refusing to even take seats in the house of commons to vote for anyone, as they see the United Kingdom as a foreign country occupying Ireland. I doubt very seriously that they'd be willing to vote for Miliband either. The DUP is set to take 9 Northern Irish seats. It's the more conservative "Unionist" party, but it has announced that it would be willing to work with both Labour and the Conservatives. So there's no outright loyalty there.
If the polls are right, there are enough votes for Miliband to form a government without even speaking to the Lib Dems, who will no longer have kingmaker status. On this Razor's edge, the Conservatives won't be able to form a majority either, even if the Liberal Democrats deign to work with them. The votes from Northern Ireland will not save the Cameron government. With DUP and Lib Dem votes, the Tories still fall 10 seats short of forming a majority. And there's no guarantee that either party would work with the Tories.
This means that at this point, there is no math by which the Conservatives will be able to maintain their government on Friday. Even if the DUP and the Lib Dems came out to support them, Labour would still be able to cobble together a majority vote of confidence.
By this math, the only way that David Cameron would be able to keep his government is if the Labour party voted to put him in power.
So it looks at this point like we'll be seeing a Labour minority government.
There will be no formal coalition, either, and this is important to understand.
First of all, a coalition would be far too complicated to function. It would be a rainbow coalition of Irish parties. It would mean the SNP being given positions of national authority, and being part of the government.
Most damaging for the SNP and PC, it would mean that their fights with Labour would not be public. It's in their interests to prove to their own constituents that they're standing up for their values, especially when that means that they're standing up against the Labour party, which has drifted towards the right since Blair.
Ultimately it's far more important for the SNP to be able to help their Progressive Bloc allies prove themselves than it is for them to ensure a stable Miliband government. Most especially, they'll want to help back Caroline Lucas, the current Green Party MP. They will want to help her have her voice heard in the house of commons, so that the people of England see a progressive alternative to the Labour Party. A stronger Green party ultimately means a more left wing Britain, which means a stronger economy.
There's been a lot of politicians making claims of doom and gloom, such as Lord Ashdown's claim that the SNP are a "raiding party" who are coming south "to burn Westminster down."
This is ridiculous. It's not in the interests of Scotland, independent or otherwise, to make Westminster any more dysfunctional than it already is. An independent Scotland would rely on England as the largest foreign market for its goods and services. If they wrecked things simply to gain independence, they'd only be hurting their own economy, and wrecking their relationship with their biggest trading partner.
Sturgeon's real plan is much smarter, and much more interesting than some attempt to wreck a political body. Sturgeon wants to fix British Politics.
Over the next few years, you'll see sturgeon lend support to both Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru, and Natalie Bennett of the Green Party of England and Wales. Pasokification has reached Scotland, wiping out the Labour party. It's in the interests of the SNP to encourage Pasokification in England and Wales.
Their long term strategy ultimately will be to show the English and Welsh left that their most progressive options are Plaid Cymru in Wales, and the Green Party in England. As they build an Electoral Alliance in the UK, and help people like Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party MP, prove that they can be effective in government, and prove that they can have a significant effect on the direction of Britain, the British Left can begin to see the Green Party as the best option for a Progressive Anti-Tory vote.
As that happens, the Labour Party would be forced either to return to their historic roots on the left, or die, and see the Green Party take their place as the party of choice for the left.
That's all long term though. In the short term, you'd see the greens growing their influence in the more left wing parts of England, and Plaid Cymru growing their influence in Wales. As that process moves forward you'll see Labour put in a position where it couldn't hope to form a Majority Government at all. You'd see the Tories almost permanently locked out of government as well.
I can't say what would happen to the Liberal Democrats in this circumstance.
But because this is the tactic, it is absolutely not in the interests of the SNP to either "Burn Westminster" by intentionally making it dysfunctional, nor is it in their interest to enter into a formal coalition, where they wouldn't be able to prove to the rest of Britain that there really are other, left wing, progressive options.
If you're wondering why the Labour Party are doing so poorly, check out my coverage from yesterday. I'll have today's podcast with Tom Cheevers of Netroots Radio posted here later.