First he argues - or "reveals" - that the next general election will be fought on the same boundaries as the last:
although the last rites are yet to be performed, the boundary changes proposed by David Cameron to equalise the size of parliamentary constituencies are effectively dead. Following the debacle on Lords reform, not only will Lib Dem backbenchers vote with Labour against them but Lib Dem ministers will do so as well if that is what it takes to kill them off.
I understand that Nick Clegg has already told Cameron this and that the PM accepts it. This means every sitting MP will be fighting on exactly the same constituency boundaries next time – maximising the advantages of incumbency.The implication of this, says O'Flynn, is that:
every sitting Lib Dem has a decent chance of bucking a national trend that will probably see the party’s overall share of the vote plunge by 10 points at the next election compared to the last. It is not inconceivable that 35 or even 40 of the 57 Lib Dem MPs could make it back to Westminster.Fighting the next election on the same boundaries will also mean that David Cameron will have to better next time if he is to win an outright majority. As O'Flynn says, it looks unlikely that he will achieve this.
So a hung parliament after the next election is a real possibility. And who will be leading the Liberal Democrats by then?
Step forward, says O'Flynn, Nick Clegg:
Look at the numbers. Clegg had a majority of more than 15,000 in 2010, with the Tories in second place. He was a towering 19,000 votes clear of the third placed Labour candidate.
The Lib Dems have been holding council wards in the seat too. So he’ll very probably be back, albeit with a much-reduced majority.This isn't news to anyone who knows Sheffield Hallam. But many assume that, because it is the North of England, it must be a Labour prospect. The reality was that there are few more middle-class constituencies outside South-West London and that Hallam was always the Tory seat in Sheffield.
And O'Flynn's conclusion is:
There will be fewer Lib Dem MPs next time round but they will probably still hold the balance of power and through Clegg and Cable they have both sides of the bet well covered.
Sorry folks but unless Britain makes a really decisive choice between David Cameron and Ed Miliband – and that does not seem likely given that it is so underwhelmed by both – it had better get used to the yellow peril in the corridors of power.