With all this contemplation about the possibility of a hung parliament, my mind has turned to thinking about how such an eventuality would effect the timetable for the referendum on law making powers for the National Assembly for Wales - assuming that Carwyn Jones has actually written the required letter to Peter Hain requesting it. I hope that constitutional experts are chewing this over.
What we know is that the Secretary of State for Wales has 120 days to respond to the First Minister's letter, requesting the referendum. And we expect the General Election to be held in about 60 days, on May 6th. Also relevant is the reluctance of the current Secretary of State, Peter Hain to progress things quickly - so most of the work may have to be carried out within a tight timetable after the General Election. But what if there is no clear winner, and negotiations about forming the next Government drag on for months. The only reason negotiations to form an Assembly Government after the Assembly election in 2007 was limited to one month was that the constitution demanded a fresh election if it wasn't. In some countries, it takes several months to sort things out.
So what would happen in the unhappy event of a hung parliament. With no new Government, I suppose Gordon Brown and Labour would carry on as some sort of 'Caretaker Government'. The question I'm asking myself is whether this 'Caretaker Government' would have the authority to commit to a referendum. Wales is brimming with experts on this sort of thing. Perhaps they'll let this blog know what the position is.