I was surprised to see an article on Stormfront Lite by Alastair Meeks today suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn has made a strategic mistake by offering to head a caretaker government to stop No Deal. To me, it seems pretty obvious that an alternative government of any complexion isn't viable this side of an election - because the likes of Change UK won't back one led by Corbyn, and the vast bulk of Labour MPs will not feel able to back one led by anybody else. That's exactly why Corbyn's move makes strategic sense. He has the SNP and Caroline Lucas on side to demonstrate that if anyone is best-placed to form a government, he is, and that the only roadblock to a solution is a small number of dogmatic holdouts like Jo Swinson and Anna Soubry who themselves can't offer a remotely credible alternative. The fourteen Lib Dem MPs plus Change UK plus Ken Clarke plus Harriet Harman does not exactly equal a majority.
It may be that Corbyn made very sure he had the SNP on side with carefully-choreographed comments from himself and John McDonnell about not blocking a second indyref. We might have to wait for the memoirs to discover whether there was some sort of informal understanding between the Labour leadership and the SNP that brought us to this point.
So if a pre-election change of government isn't a runner, how can No Deal on 31st October be averted? If MPs can't seize control of the process directly, I think what we might end up with is a successful vote of no confidence, followed up immediately by legislation to amend the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and prevent Boris Johnson delaying the general election until November. It would be an awful lot easier for a majority of MPs to reach an agreement on that sort of legislation than on the identity of an alternative Prime Minister.