Another guest from Dan Phillips, a post-election wrap-up of his Edinburgh coverage.

What drama? What conspiracy? What intrigue, hey? But in the end the most obvious result came to fruition. Only a mile up the road from the partisan backbiting of Holyrood, Labour and SNP are in coalition.

I cannot condemn that result. Two parties, largely agreeing on the direction of Edinburgh, forming a coalition with a stable majority. Why wasn’t it so obvious? How much hatred can there be between these two parties that a constitutional divide – whilst real on the national level is illusory on the local – remains a sticking point.

My own suggestion of the Traffic Light 29, whilst mathematically possible, was politically impractical. With the SNP wooing the Tories heavily we could have a neatly divided council, not with one potential administration but two. Red/Green/Yellow vs Tartan and Blue. An entire election and the fate of Scotland’s capital coming down to the cut of the deck. Exciting drama, but such antics are best left to the telly. You could argue that Labour had a moral right to form such a group, but one thing politics is not about is putting your opponent into power if you have a realistic stab at it yourself. Plus with the election leaving Edinburgh littered with Lib Dem bodies, they didn’t want to join, or supply confidence. Not that the possibility was discussed.

The curious attempt to skewer the Greens, with opposing parties’ activists condemning their refusal to join a Lab/Tory/Green mash up is also nonsensical. As soon as Lab and the Tories disagreed with their Green fig-leaf there would be nothing to stop them jettisoning their junior partner. Such realpolitik would leave the Greens open to use, then abuse.

Similarly Labour’s hopes of an ‘all talents’ coalition with all five parties foundered on such stony ground. The only example of such a coalition existing is in Northern Ireland’s Assembly. It only works there because the parties are compelled to do it and legislation can only be passed if a majority within both the unionist and nationalist bloc assent. Here there is no such structural guarantees. Indeed there are arguments in Stormont that it barely works there, with a ‘government within the government’ emerging as the DUP and Sinn Fein find out that they have a little more in common than they ever expected.

So Labour, fearing the most almighty of backlashes from bedding the Tories suddenly saw those personal differences, the historical division and Cardownie’s defection as not that insurmountable at all. How grown-up of our political chums. Long may it continue.