Features

He’ll never admit it, but David Cameron is already plotting another deal with Nick Clegg

A few months ago, the Tories were thinking of a minority government if they didn’t win outright. Now that’s changed

28 March 2015

9:00 AM

28 March 2015

9:00 AM

David Cameron is honest to a fault — or so he told us this week. While cooking lunch in the kitchen of his Oxfordshire home, he was asked, in terms, whether this is the last election he’ll fight as party leader. Yes, he said, it was. He was then kind enough to name three potential successors. And when shortly afterwards broadcast journalists grew greatly excited by this, he said he had done nothing more than give a ‘very straight answer to a very straight question’.

But there is another question to which he will not give a straight answer: is he preparing for another coalition? The Prime Minister knows the official response: of course not, he’s fighting for a majority. He is adamant that no one on his team is planning for a hung parliament, and he won’t even discuss the matter because he wants to win outright. But behind closed doors, he doesn’t bother to maintain the fiction. In private, what the Prime Minister discusses is his plans for the next coalition deal.

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The Spectator knows of at least two detailed discussions that Cameron has had on the topic in recent weeks. He said the same in both: no matter what they might hear to the contrary, he does not want to run a minority government. In the likely event of another hung parliament, he would prefer coalition. So the outcome of the general election will be decided by two battles: one at the ballot box, and the other behind closed doors — away from (and, in some cases, running contrary to) what was said on the campaign trail.

For all of their public protestations, the top of the Tory party is increasingly operating on the assumption that, yet again, they won’t win. Even one loyal secretary of state admits, ‘No one thinks we’re going to come back with a 30- or 40-seat majority.’ Instead, cabinet ministers expect the Tories to have the most seats but still be well short of the magic 326 mark.

Senior Tories used to be very bullish about the prospects of running a minority government. Two weeks ago, one cabinet member said there was a 50/50 chance of them doing so. As recently as last autumn, this seemed to be the preferred option. One No. 10 figure used to talk about the ‘eff off number’, the point at which the Tories could hope to rule without the support of the Liberal Democrats. While Cameron has been quite comfortable with the coalition he created, other Tories are not. Having a Tory-only government would mean more ministerial jobs to go round, and would foster party unity as Cameron took on all comers in the Commons and his MPs rallied to him.


But such optimism has faded in recent months. Those around the Prime Minister have now started to emphasise how tricky minority government would be.

George Osborne likes to say that the first rule of politics is knowing how to count — and according to Stephen Fisher, an Oxford academic, there is only a 9 per cent chance of the Tories winning 326 seats or more. One Cameron ally sums up the coalition question thus: ‘It’s the arithmetic for us: we’ll avoid it if we can and we’ll do it if we must.’ But this poses a problem for Cameron. How will he persuade his MPs — who will have a vote on the matter — to support another coalition?

One of the Prime Minister’s most trusted lieutenants explained to me recently that the best way is to present Tory MPs with a choice between coalition and opposition. Many of them would prefer minority government, so that option must be taken off the table. If the only choices were defeat or the Lib Dems, the theory goes, the Tory survival instinct would kick in and a second coalition would be approved. Cameron used a similar technique in 2010, warning his party that if they didn’t agree to a referendum on the alternative vote, Nick Clegg would do a deal with Labour and the Tories would be shut out of Downing Street. (He was exaggerating, and some Tories have never quite forgiven him for it.)

For the first time in living memory, the main parties have gone into an election expecting an indeterminate result, and thus expecting to cut deals with other parties afterwards. In 2010, the Tories only held their first serious meeting about what to do if they didn’t win a majority after the first televised debate and the brief period of Cleggmania that followed. Now, though, the prospect of another coalition is on Downing Street’s mind even before the campaign proper has begun — and privately it is viewed as the most likely route back to power.

Senior Tories were delighted that they and the Liberal Democrats were still able to present a joint Budget with only 50 days to go to polling day. With some justification, they saw it as proof that the two party leaderships can still work together. Afterwards, one of those involved in the Budget negotiations remarked to me, with a distinct sense of satisfaction, that ‘There is definitely another coalition to be done.’

The coalition’s last cabinet meeting this week was more au revoir than adieu. Tory ministers listened respectfully as Clegg paid tribute to how they had proved the doubters wrong and proved that coalition governments could work. One of those present describes the occasion as ‘a bit of a love-in’.

Lynton Crosby, the Tories’ forceful campaign director, loathes all of this. Ever since taking on the job, he’s been adamant that voters don’t like coalitions and don’t want another. The ‘competence versus chaos’ theme that Crosby and his business partner Mark Textor have instructed the Tories to deploy is designed to contrast a Cameron majority government with the uncertainty of another hung parliament. So any Tory minister or MP who started speculating about another deal with the Liberal Democrats would be ordered by Crosby, with all the adjectives at his disposal, to stop being ‘Colin the commentator’.

Crosby believes that even thinking that you’re heading for coalition can weaken a party: you can’t win by aiming for a draw. As the saying goes: if you shoot for the moon, you might get New York, but if you aim for Barnsley, you’ll get nowt. Boris Johnson, whose two successful London mayoral campaigns were both run by Crosby, seems to agree. He recently declared that the Tories ‘should say “stuff coalition with anyone”’. He warned that the prospect of post-election deals meant that ‘people don’t know what they are voting for’: ‘If we go into this thing issuing faint pheremonal offerings or mating signals to this or that party, it would be absolutely fatal.’

When it comes to campaign strategy, Crosby’s word is pretty much law. But he has far less influence on what happens when the polls close. On that, Cameron is determined not to bind his own hands. When the Tories were in the doldrums a few years ago, his staff were asked to come up with ideas. When it was put to him that he might rule out a second coalition, Cameron dismissed the proposal out of hand. It would be preposterous, he said, to close down one of his most likely routes back into No. 10.

There will be no dramatic last-minute pledge from Cameron not to cut any deals. Indeed, it seems that the Tory leadership is even considering the possibility of a minority or three-party coalition. One of those who has been involved in these discussions says No. 10 ‘underestimates how difficult a minority coalition or a triple coalition which just takes you over the line would be’.

Cameron will spend the next six weeks barnstorming his way across the country, declaring that he’s aiming for a majority. But, in the back of his mind, he’ll be thinking about something else: how he will do that second coalition, how he will lure Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats back into the No. 10 rose garden — and how will he sell it to his party?

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Show comments
  • WTF

    The spin has continued with the biggest fraud of all claiming that we all have Tory values now in todays Daily Mail.

    How dare they include me in this statement as I’m not a consummate liar, I don’t renege on promises, I don’t drop legislation I agreed to bring in and I don’t push through legislation that was never mentioned in an election manifesto.

    I don’t appease sexual groomers and rapists, I call it what it is and I do not use weasel words. I don’t spend a fortune bringing back Jihadists from Syria and if I came across sexual abuses I wouldn’t look the other way and I don’t spy on my neighbours to see what cartoon magazines they read. All of those are the sort of Tory values we’ve come to see lately worthy of a Stasi like state that embraces child abuse and sweeps it under the carpet !

    Tory values is a very sick joke and don’t make me laugh even before we start talking about cover ups of rent boys and the like. Tory, Labour or LibDem values are no different to each other and all belong in the cess pit of depravity, betrayal and the worst excess’s of humanity !

    • trotters1957

      I don’t remember you obsessing about the Oxford, Cleveland or North Wales child abuse scandals. Or indeed the ongoing Saville, Cyril Smith, Tory MPs enquiries.
      Or do you make a distinction between our home grown pedophiles and the “others”?

      • WTF

        Obviously you haven’t bothered to read my posts as I’ve been very obsessive in slamming not only sexual abusers in Islam but the liberal fascists in the police, the cps, social services over Rotherham, Oxford etc plus all three political parties for their involvement in the PIE (Harman and others), The Tories and their rent boys and not forgetting the LibPedos who covered up Cyril Smiths abuses.

        In many respects its the establishment who are far worse than Pakistani sexual groomers as they condoned what was happening.

        I think you have me confused with someone else !

    • Does that mean you believe in illegal wars, sexed up dossiers and abolishing boom and bust?

    • davidofkent

      Cameron does not represent Tory values.

      • WTF

        Sorry my mistake !

  • The Bogle

    But would the LibDems agree to the promised referendum on the EU that Cameron has promised the country in 2017 should be be re-elected?

    • Max J

      Maybe they would but a lot of what the Tories ‘were going to renegotiate’ would be conveniently chucked out the window.

    • trotters1957

      You do realise that we will stay in the EU after the referendum?
      Currently the opinion polls are split but once the debate starts there is no way Britain will leave.

      • alfredo

        You mean it will be fiddled one way or another. I fear you may be right.

    • Dan Grover

      My initial reaction would be that they’d need a PR referendum to buy it, but… well, right now they’re far more likely to benefit from FPTP than lose out from it, in a bizarre alternative to normal. Who knows if they even still want PR.

  • A_Libertarian_Rebel

    And, in other news, the Pope is a Catholic.

    That Cameron would prefer coalition with the LibDems to reliance on his own backbenchers, a substantial number of whom have never reconciled themselves even to his own leadership, should surprise no-one who’s able to join the dots after observing all the signals over the past two years, and especially the last two months.

    To quote just one, the decision to allow the LibDems to use the floor of the House of Commons Chamber for, in effect, a PEB masquerading as an “alternative Budget” was just the latest of any number of smoke signals.

    Nor should it remotely surprise anyone who’s ever read the chapter titled “Cameron’s Party?” in Robin Harris’ superb “The Conservatives: A History”:

    “Cameron rejected the option of a minority Government and swiftly set out to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. He showed enthusiasm rather than reluctance. Members remarked how much more at ease he was with the new Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, than with some of his own colleagues. Cameron portrayed the Coalition as an ideal, not a necessity, and a welcome change to single-party government.”

    This has been on the cards since Coalition 1.0 Day One.

    • WTF

      A bunch of whores in any other name !

    • Lady Magdalene

      In 2009, Cameron wrote an article in The Guardian calling for an alliance with the LibDems to vanquish Labour.

      He didn’t say it would only take one term of Office.

      His objective is a permanent liberal-Conservative pact ….. which will have the added bonus of ensuring that the British people NEVER get a Referendum on leaving the EU.

  • alfredo

    How will he sell to his party? Never a thought in the Westminster bubble about how he’ll sell it to the public. But he doesn’t have to think about that; they’ll just have to put up with it, like last time.
    In the election the LibDems will offer themselves as a party of government. Probably at least 90% of the electorate will by their vote reject that option. Certainly considerably more than voted against the LibDems than did last time, which is a clear indication of what the public think of their record. Yet Cameron thinks he’s perfectly within his rights to include them in government – theoretically if they got zero votes. This is not comparable with co-opting individual, possibly non-political, figures into government for their recognised talents. It’s matter of co-opting a party, and policies, into government which have been resoundingly REJECTED by the electorate.
    How democratic is that?

    • trotters1957

      Its called parliamentary democracy,

      • alfredo

        Call it what you will, but it’s ‘democracy’ without the demos.

    • rtj1211

      I agree, it may be much more difficult to find 60% electoral support in a viable coalition this time. Conservatives + Libdems may not be more than 45% of votes cast in 2015.

      Conservative + Labour would be 65%+, but could a deal be done by those two most tribal of parties?? Unlikely I would have thought.

      Doing a deal with UKIP will be difficult as they may only have 10 seats even if they got 18% of the vote, which they may not.

      SNP+Conservative+Libdems?? Seems an odd alliance, but it might be the only one the Conservatives could cobble together to have more than 50% of votes cast.

      Would be very controversial having the SNP as part of a UK government, though……

      • Ross

        Umm, UKIP will be extremely lucky to get 5 seats, they are projected for between 1 and 2

  • davidofkent

    If he is at all realistic, DC must have people working on a new coalition, presumably with UKIP and the NI MPs.

  • Peter Stroud

    Another coalition with the LibDems, and bang goes the EU referendum. Could the Tories not work with the NI unionists?

    • JoeCro

      Cameron like most sensible conservatives is pro Europe. He will do anything to avoid a referendum on the EU.

  • James

    When I posted that David Cameron would prop up Clegg in another coalition people said it would never happen. Its so obvious – Conservatives are funded by the hedge fund managers with billions of investments in the EU including the firm who has tendered for the NHS contract. Cameron is worse than Blair and will leave politics a very rich man while our sovereignty has been sold off.

  • Reality means having to deal with facts and not dreams.
    I would love a Conservative government, but not enough people will so vote.
    I don’t believe enough will vote Labour to put Ed in power either.
    This situation is hardly the choice of DC or EM, but it’s reality.
    The only people to blame are actually the electorate.
    The interesting piece will come if there is not an overall majority of even another Conservative / Liberal coalition, even if both party’s members could be persuaded to agree.
    Nope, I think a disastrous and short lived Labour / SNP arrangement is heading our way, which will result in a greater right wing and EVEL backlash than can be anticipated!
    Fascinating times.

  • Ivan Ewan

    Come on Cameron, I dare ya to form a coalition with Labour. I double-dare ya.

    • James

      Cameron only wants to get us in the EU so in his mind Libs would clear his conscious not giving us Labour.

  • WTF

    Cameron will have a lot more to worry about if the crash of that A320 plane turns out to be an Islamic terrorist act. From reports today it appears that one of the pilots was deliberately locked out of the cockpit by the other one who then crashed the plane in a 9-11 style act.

    Firstly, although there have been the odd cases of a single seat planes crashing in a suicide bid there have been NO cases from non Muslim pilots on airliners like this deciding to kill themselves let alone a plane full of passengers. As with the 9-11 terrorist attacks and subsequent attempts, ALL of those were related to Islamic terrorists.

    Suicide by transportation has only two forms (a) a single person who wants to end his life like a cyclist or car driver going into a brick wall or over a cliff and (b) Islamic suicide Jihadists wanting to kill as many innocent bystanders as possible.

    Secondly, having a German sounding name for the pilots does not indicate ethnicity or cultural allegiance as our own Andy “Looney Tunes” Choudary was into debauchery, booze and drugs before becoming a verbal Jihadist. The UK has plenty of radicalized converts to Islam who will happily put on a suicide vest or crash a plane if given half a chance.

    Only Islamic terrorism has this sort of MO by combining suicide, terrorism and killing innocent people and nothing else fits the facts as they are known right now. If the truth gets out and my hypothesis is proven true, they’ll be a lot of scared western leaders like Cameron trying to spin this away from the religion of ‘peace’ but for the millions flying around Europe, it wont wash.

    • Som Trivedi

      Come on, I’m no fan of the RoP, but your theory for the A320 crash is quite ridiculous. So you’re saying that Andreas Guenter Lubitz, born and bred in a small German town, with perfectly caucasian features (the DT has pictures of him on display) which are more Breivik than Chaudhury might have Islamist sympathies?

      Somehow, I don’t think so.

      • James

        Do you know how many white converts to islam born, educated and working in professional capacity have attempted to bomb us – read Scotland Yard’s terrorism newsletter.

      • WTF

        As Sherlock Holmes said “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

        We may not be there yet and that may not be the reason for what is now being postulated as a deliberate act of suicide, but I’m putting forward a possible theory that most certainly fit the facts as we know them now.

        If we accept it was a deliberate act of suicide, its much more likely this was an Islamic terrorist act than a guy who had personal issues to such a degree that he was quite happy to kill all those people in the process of killing himself. The Malaysian plane that came down somewhere in the Indian ocean (perhaps) could equally be something similar as actions were taken by one of the crew to break protocol just as happened here by all accounts.

        We shall see, but with the evidence to date, it certainly wasn’t a missile, it wasn’t a passenger hijacking, its unlikely to be a structural failure so whats left ?

        I’m with Holmes on this unless new evidence emerges !

        • Som Trivedi

          It is now being reported that he took 6 months off work for depression in the recent past. Does the possibility of mental illness sway you at all?

          • WTF

            Would you consider Islamic terrorists to be of sound mind ?

          • Som Trivedi

            So you’re sticking to the crazed depressed white secretly-Muslim German young terrorist theory. Good luck 🙂

          • WTF

            Providing they’re no cover ups by the liberal fascists, we might find out more in time.

          • rtj1211

            What the hell was he doing back at work unless his depression had clearly been cured?? You simply shouldn’t be putting people with unstable mental conditions in mission critical places of work, where going on a mental walkabout may end up killing people……

    • Bastian’s Books

      http://news.aviation-safety.net/2015/03/26/list-of-aircraft-accidents-and-incidents-deliberately-caused-by-pilots/

      What evidence do you have that the intentional crashes in 1976 in Russia, 1979 in Bogota, 1979 in Japan, the attempt in 1994 in Memphis, the 1997 crash in Indonesia, the 2012 attempt in Utah, and the 2013 crash in Mozambique had Muslim pilots?

      • WTF

        There is no mention I can find of Russia in 1976, Bogata or Japan in 1979 and Memphis was not a passenger plane where the pilot wanted to crash the plane killing all passengers because there weren’t any.

        Indonesia with a population of 90% worshiping Islam would seem to confirm my point.

        As for Utah there’s no info on the web site unlike the Indonesia suicide crash and any credence given over the Mozambique crash has to be suspect as no one knows why the pilot crashed the plane and that airline is banned from EU airspace.

        I’ll help you out here as the link below gives a better picture of the sorts of pilots who have crashed planes and it confirms my previous hypothesis. Air crashes involving passengers and non Muslim pilots were assessed as being due to drink or incompetence as opposed to a deliberate malicious intent like 9-11. Most air crashes involving Muslim pilots most certainly doesn’t include alcohol as their religion bans it and virtually all instances involved passengers on board and a likely malicious intent to kill everyone.

        http://www.vox.com/2015/3/26/8294971/pilot-suicide-crash

        • Bastian’s Books

          Just in case the link was not obvious, here it is again:

          http://news.aviation-safety.net/2015/03/26/list-of-aircraft-accidents-and-incidents-deliberately-caused-by-pilots/

          Indonesia – the pilots was Singaporean. The majority of Singaporeans are Buddhists. I don’t know what (if any) religion the pilot adhered to. If you think he was a Muslim, please point to a credible source that confirms this.

          The Memphis one – the pilot intended to crash his cargo airliner into a building full of people.

          There are 12 attempts by pilots to crash their airliners (either with passengers aboard, or into populated areas) on that list. 10 of the attempts were successful. Of those, I know off the top of my head that two were Muslims (Malaysia and Egypt Air) and it seems extremely likely that a third was a Muslim (the Morocco one). That leaves seven successful and two unsuccessful attempts by pilots to crash airliners, where I can’t see any evidence that the pilots were Muslims.

          Also, stating that “any credence given over the Mozambique crash has to be suspect as no one knows why the pilot crashed the plane” is not even an argument. You’re stating that all pilots who crashed their airliners were Muslims. For all the Muslim pilots (Malaysia, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc), no one knows why they did what they did. There’s no reason to believe there were terrorist motivations. So why should “no credence” be given to a crash if you don’t know whether the pilot was a Muslim, but some credence be given to those crashes where you do know the pilots were Muslims.

          Also, Pacific Southwest Airlines flight 1771 was crashed intentionally, while it was full of passengers, by an ex-employee of the airline. (Not a pilot, but the ex-airline employee used his credentials to get past security with his gun, and once the plane was in the air, shot a guy he had a grudge against, the entire crew, and then flew the plane into the ground)

          You stated that “there have been NO cases from non Muslim pilots on airliners like this deciding to kill themselves let alone a plane full of passengers”

          So far, based on the official results of aircraft investigations listed above, I can only conclude that you are ill-informed, a bigot blinded by hate who can’t absorb information that contravenes his/her hatred, or a liar who twists facts.

          • WTF

            There’s always a reason why someone commits a heinous act of any kind and its certainly the case that anyone no matter what religion they are, can commit such an act if they are mentally unstable to the point of wishing to die.

            Whether they commit suicide on their own or wish to take others with them will generally be determined based on whether they feel persecuted, real or perceived. That was the general scenario for earlier singular suicides or taking others with you as well and it was prior to Islamic terrorism coming on the scene.

            Islamic terrorist acts are a ‘breed’ apart as the causal links between the terrorist act and their motivation are tenuous at best as why kill innocent people including those of your own religion in the name of your religion. There is some rationality in terrorist acts carried out by the IRA, ETA and other terrorist groups which although we obviously disagree with the actual act, we can understand and link the causal reasons, that doesn’t happen with Islamic attacks.

            Even with suicide plane crashes, we can draw similar causal links from depression and genuine persecution but what does a terrorist attack against the west have to do with what is going on in Palestine for instance. Just today Amnesty International has finally come out and said Hamas committed war crimes against Israel. Quite obviously this was to the chagrin of the liberal fascists having to debunk their claim for world wide terrorism against the west being based on the tenuous connection to Israel. The point I’m trying to make is logic applies to deaths carried out by non Muslims killers but there is no logic to Islamic killers like Lee Rigby’s killing.

            At the end of the day extrapolating what might have happened here is all about the statistical likelihood of causes for this ‘suicide’ crash based on historical evidence that has occurred before. With the lack contrary evidence dispelling a plausible and likely reason, we cant dismiss possible reasons purely based on inverse bigotry as you are suggesting.

            I was putting forward one scenario that the left dare not utter in a Sherlock Holmes style of inquiry, if you and others are offended then that’s your problem but we cant exclude any avenue purely based on religious ‘feeling’ or sensitivities as happened in Rotherham and elsewhere. It doesn’t solve any problems being in denial and never will.

  • Terence Hale

    Hi,
    “He’ll never admit it “But he tries. Martin Luther translated the Bible so all commoners could read. Mr. Hague a once the most respected, not only minister but human being today in parliament had a seemed breakdown in demanding secrecy. Mr. Cameron’s wheeler dealing is a danger to the British democracy, incidentally on
    the day of the Burial of Richard III.

  • Teacher

    A future coalition with the LibDems supposes that someone will vote for them. Hmmm.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    If you add the DUP and UKIP to the Tory/LibDem mix they would still fall short of commanding a majority.

  • Bastian’s Books

    When I look at the poll predictions, a Labour-Conservative coalition looks more likely to me than a second Con-Dem-Nation. The Lib Dems won’t have enough seats to get either party across the line.
    Of course, a Labour-LibDem-SNP package could work, too, which is why Cameron & Co have been scaremongering about the Scots and putting pressure on Millibland to rule the SNP out. I’d prefer that to a Grand Coalition, but I’m not holding my breath.
    Either way, interesting times ahead.

  • JoeCro

    If the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives had been sensible they would have run on a joint ticket to continue the ‘Coalition’, I think they would have won on overall majority. Too late for that now, the Lib Dems are on the slide and Cameron’s Conservatives may finish up the largest party but some way short of an overall majority. With the lack of natural conservative allies in the Commons an alliance of the left looks likely.

  • huw

    BREAKING NEWS the troika has left Greece and is morphing into the snp-green-plaid cymru – – -to rule the English! HEHE HAAAAAAA haaa heee he…haaa he ,,,:))

  • David Jenkins

    Arguing over a free market centrist split-pin. They’re the same in all but name.

  • Frank’s Inatra

    I’ve found this to be a lighthouse in the fog conjured up by today’s liberals: http://bit.ly/LibertyLamp

  • Ross

    I am still waiting for the Tories to realise that they have already lost the election even if they win the most seats.

    A Tory majority isn’t going to happen. If you think otherwise you’re an idiot.

    A Tory minority government wouldn’t last 5 minutes.

    A Tory/Lib coalition is a non starter as they would still be short of seats and even throwing UKIP’s couple of seats in will not get them over the line.

    There are only 2 realistic outcomes to this election now.

    A formal coalition between Labour and SNP

    A Labour minority government supported by the SNP.

    Cameron is toast

  • Lady Magdalene

    So vote Cameron ….. get The Clegglet (if he survives).

    As if we didn’t already know that …………….

    Just one more very good reason not to vote Conservative (as if one were needed).

  • magi83

    With the existing constituency boundaries and FPTP it’s very unlikely that the Tories will ever achieve a clear majority again. Let’s look at the facts. In 2005 Labour won 35.2% of the vote to the Tories 32.4% and returned 355 MPs to the Tories 198. In 2010, the Tories won 36.1% of the vote to Labour’s 29% and returned 306 MPs to Labour’s 258. Labour received a smaller % of the vote in 2010 than the Tories did in ’97 and ’01.

    FPTP is generally lauded for returning ‘strong governments’. The impact of this has traditionally been that the main party which suffers a bad defeat ends up with a proportion of MPs which is less than it’s % of the vote and the winning party generally has a much higher proportion of MPs than it’s percentage, with a minority of the popular vote often returning clear majorities in parliament. This didn’t happen in 2010 when Labour suffered what should have been a catastrophic defeat yet retained nearly 40% of MPs in the Commons.

    Basically, Labour fight elections in ‘Easy Mode’, guaranteed to return a reasonable number of seats regardless of how badly they fare. FPTP no longer ‘works’ as it once did due to the more fragmented nature of the electorate. I think it’s time to look at electoral reform AGAIN.

  • Nuntius

    A sign of maturity is dealing with the possible, and not stamping your tiny feet to insist on something which is out of reach. The coalition has been good for Britain, in contrast to the prospect we faced in 2010 without it. The same will apply if the choice is between a Tory minority and the possibility of another Tory/ Lib Dem coalition. Would be good if the politicians could put Britian first, rather than their narrow (often petty) tribal instincts. If Cameron is thinking of another pact with the Lib Dems then he goes up in my estimation.

  • Lord S.

    The polls suggest the Tories can count on about 285 seats, while LibDems should expect max. 30 – summed it’s 315, a long way to 326. If Cameron preferred coalition than minority government he would be forced into a deal with DUP and probably even with UKIP. Four-party coalition means constant fight paralysing the government. Even if the Conservatives do win, Cameron will find himself in the worst post-election position in history.

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