Since John Austin made his famous faux pas on Pawb a'i Farn on Thursday night there has been a lot of discussion about coalitions in the press and on the bloggosphere.
Most commentators have looked at the same old possibilities a Lib / Lab Coalition a Lab / PC coalition or Glyn Davies' Rainbow coalition all of which have inherent problems, which have been well rehearsed by others.
There are some other possibilities that have hardly received a mention during the campaign.
The first is an option that is included in The Government of Wales Act. If within a period of 28 days the assembly members can't decide on the appointment of a First Minister, then a new election has to be held. I doubt if this option is in any party's best interest, but it would be good fun.
In the lead up to the 1999 election Ron Davies and Dafydd Wigley favoured the idea of an inclusive government in which all parties took part. Wigley has suggested that until the Assembly's new powers have bedded down that this is an option that he would support again for the next Assembly.
Dr Richard Wyn Jones suggests in the April edition of Barn that a minority government could be formed by one or two parties, say Plaid & the Lib Dems, with the Conservatives remaining in opposition but having an agreement not to bring down the government by abstaining in votes of confidence etc.
I have already noted that Glyn's Rainbow coalition has inherent difficulties. Plaid has said that it won't be part of a Tory lead coalition because of the way the Tories are perceived in Wales - and Ieuan Wyn's Suggestion that a Plaid Government would include Conservative cabinet members seems to have gone down like a lead balloon. However there is a variation on this theme that might be more acceptable, a rainbow coalition that is lead by neither Plaid nor the Conservatives but by one of the independents (Ron has said that he is up for the job if he's elected) or in the absence of a decent independent, a government lead by a Lib Dem first minister.
I am not advocating any of these proposals, just pointing out that there are alternatives to the coalitions that have been the focus of political sparing over the past few days.
More coalition blog posts:
Peter Black - Sanddef - Labour Watch - Wales Elects 2007 - Marcusian - Bethan Jenkins - Daniel Davies - Glyn Davies - Tory Diary - Martin Eaglestone