By Ian Dunt
Speculation continued to mount today about a possible deal between the Tories and the DUP in the event of a hung parliament.
Reports in the Telegraph this morning indicated that the DUP would be willing to enter into a formal coalition with the Conservatives in exchange for protection against severe spending cuts in Northern Ireland.
Any such move would give the David Cameron another nine or ten seats in the Commons which, according to current opinion polls, should be enough to see him form a majority government.
Mr Cameron's other option in the event of a hung parliament would be to try to rule as a minority government.
The key test for any post election government is the Queen's Speech. Getting this passed proves the party commands the confidence of the Commons.
If the markets and media were showing signs of panic in a hung parliament, Mr Cameron could simply call Labour and the Liberal Democrat's bluff, by forcing them to risk losing national approval by hindering the formation of government.