I suppose that it's not a shock that a man so lacking in principle has utterly sabotaged any possibility of a stable government.
Yet even if the Liberal Democrats do side with a defeated Labour Government, albeit lacking the most unpopular prime minister in modern times, and an Electoral Reform Bill is put through Parliament, it will get voted down by a mixture of Conservative and Labour MPs, there will be a no confidence vote, a new election called and the Conservatives will win by a landslide. Labour will be out of power for a generation. People will realise that the Liberal Democrats are just the same sort of calculating politicians as the rest of them.
That is the only silver lining I can draw from possibly the most depressing few hours I've ever experienced in politics. Even Labour MPs are saying it (see Tom Harris, John Reid et al). It is underhand, deceitful and undemocratic. If what I expect to happen does, then we will have the parties that finished 2nd and 3rd in the general election trying to impose voting reform on this country without consulting the people themselves. The Liberal Democrats say that they are for democracy? Not on this evidence.
When I walked in to the House this afternoon around 4.30pm, it was buzzing with cheerful MPs of all political persuasions. Like the first day at a new school. By the time I left the Strangers Bar approaching 9.00pm there was a distinctly sour feeling in the air. Again, from all sides. But not a Liberal Democrat to be seen.