North faces 'double whammy' in thorny UK vote
Can you think of a country, other than our own, where the majority party in a coalition government has no real empathy with its partners and treats them with - at best - tolerance?
The answer is easy. That is the state of affairs in the United Kingdom ahead of a general election at which the Conservatives hope to win an overall majority in the House of Commons and the Liberal Democrats will try to avoid a wipe-out.
The second part of the scenario is more credible than the first. Certainly the Lib Dems have to fight for mere survival. Their chances of participation in the next government are remote. But the pundits all consider a Tory majority unlikely. They forecast a hung parliament and a series of "strokes and deals".