by Atul Hatwal
We are approaching peak minnow for the campaign. Yesterday the Lib Dems and Ukip launched their manifestos and this evening there is the five-way debate featuring the smaller parties minus Nick Clegg but inexplicably with Ed Miliband guest starring at the front of the coconut shy as the designated representative of Westminster’s failed big party duopoly.
But as much fun as the SNP, the Greens, Plaid and Ukip will have beating up on Ed Miliband the smaller parties should be careful what they wish for.
They might be eyeing eventual roles as kingmakers or junior partners in government, but history has a harsh lesson: it always ends badly.
In peacetime, every time there has been a coalition, confidence and supply agreement or any type of deal for support in the last 100 years, it has been electoral poison for the minor party.
On three occasions there have been coalitions in the last century and one period of less formal support to sustain a government.
All involved the Liberals, with the SNP and Plaid Cymru also becoming mired in the mess of the 1970s Callaghan government.
The results speak for themselves.