Will the Tories be as strategically stupid as National?

? The Telegraph

In the United Kingdom one man, one vote doesn?t really count as unlike New Zealand electorates are of different sizes. Tory electorates are bigger than Labour electorates, meaning Labour wins more seats with fewer votes.

Cameron has a chance to fix this, but because he didn?t do the hard yards and fix his party he ended up in coalition with the Liberal Democrats so can’t just push it through. He may have to trade off fixing boundaries to appease the Liberal Democrats if he doesn?t reform the House of Lords.

The most likely sacrifice is Mr Cameron?s favourite constitutional project ? boundary change. The Prime Minister is determined to push this plan through because of the catastrophic electoral bias against the Conservatives embedded in the existing system. At the 2005 general election, Labour commanded 36 per cent of the popular vote, with the Conservatives on 33 per cent. This translated into 356 Labour seats, and 198 Tory. The situation has since got worse.

Yet the proposal is unpopular with the Lib Dems, in part because Mr Cameron foolishly linked boundary change to a reduction in the number of parliamentary seats. These changes need to be voted on when the Boundary Commission reports next year, the likely moment for the PM to try to rescue the Coalition by dropping his proposals.

Such a deal would kill Lords reform, so hated by Tory backbenchers. But it would have one other less agreeable consequence ? it would kill off any prospect of a majority Tory government for the foreseeable future. If current boundaries remain in place, and assuming that Labour retains its current eight-point lead over the Conservatives, I calculate that Ed Miliband?s Labour will enjoy an overall majority of approximately 100 seats at the next election. That is a very expensive price for saving the Coalition.

Cameron got it right on the electoral system referendum. So maybe this doomsday scenario will not occur.