And so it comes down to the smoke-filled rooms. I posted two weeks ago that, as second-best, a Con-Lib understanding needn't be too hard to reach (and I don't know why so many commentators see Trident as a stumbling-block) - so have it, chaps.
I'm rather hoping this is where Osborne comes into his own. This blog has long found fault with the Boy George as both putative Chancellor material, and as any type of front-man at all. But he is said to excel at the back-room stuff. Perhaps it is true.
But here are a couple more thoughts.
(a) It will be ideal if Brown stays as Labour leader, while a Con-Lib process runs its course. Worst case would be that Brown goes right away, and a Con-Lib accommodation gives Labour a quiet summer during which to run a disciplined leadership selection (similar to the Conservative version in which Cameron prevailed, in a most constructive and conciliatory manner). It helps that Brown will probably hang on and on, rather than following the Major / Hague / Howard example.
(b) Drew's Second Law of Politics is: never buy off anyone at too high a price. In this case Mr C, don't offer anything by way of electoral reform that doesn't suit yourself. As I've said before, the Tories very much need a system that automatically alters constituency boundaries, on a rolling basis, to correct for the ratchet effect of ongoing demographic change that systematically disadvantages their cause. There should be an even-handed deal to be done. In any event, the arithmetic is clear: Clegg has nowhere else to go for genuine influence at this stage.
As I write, Nick Robinson is declaring that only by being propped up by Clegg can Brown continue. I disagree. He can continue by being a stubborn bastard, arguing that until the Con-Lib picture becomes clearer he must stay at the helm to exploit whatever opportunities happen along.
And as Dianne Abbott is continually reminding us, there is no easy way forcibly to remove a Labour leader - and no way at all to do so in anything under several months.
Afterthought: During the campaign, Clegg was careful never to insist on anything more than a rather vaguely-termed 'fairer system' - and even Simon Hughes on the C4 News this evening kept his remarks to this modest level. This looks like responsible politics.