Would Cameron mind a coalition?


by Rumbold
24th November, 2009 at 4:20 pm    

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has suggested that if there was to be a hung parliament (i.e. one in which no party controls more than 50% of the seats), the Liberal Democrats would support the Conservatives instead of Labour. Whilst David Cameron would seemingly prefer a strong Conservative government, would he (privately) bemoan a coalition government? I think not.

Most people recognise that the Conservatives are ahead for two reasons. First is the anti-Labour vote (anyone but…) and second is the successful detoxification of the Conservative brand by David Cameron (people feel able to vote Conservative again). The second of these reasons would be under threat in a Conservative government, as the more hardline elements of the party would push for measures that would put off some moderates/independents. This is where the Liberal Democrats come in.

A Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government would have David Cameron as prime minister, and would have a Conservative home secretary. This would allow the government to reassure voters that they will be tough on crime and so forth. Vince Cable would probably be chancellor, because he is both popular and relatively fiscally conservative. Yet where the Liberal Democrats would demand most control would be over issues like the environment, which are precisely the sort of issues that Mr. Cameron needs to keep away from the more hardline members of his party. Thus the Lib Dems would act as a natural moderating influencing on an incoming Conservative government, leaving Mr. Cameron to complain (in public) about his hands being tied over certain issues.

Europe would be interesting though.


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  1. Leon Green

    RT @pickledpolitics Blog post:: Would Cameron mind a coalition? http://bit.ly/6kWtfT


  2. pickles

    Blog post:: Would Cameron mind a coalition? http://bit.ly/6kWtfT




  1. darrellg — on 24th November, 2009 at 7:30 am  

    And that is why it would be madness for the Lib Dems to do this….

  2. meralhusseinece — on 24th November, 2009 at 7:58 am  

    Sorry Rumbold, Nick Clegg didn't actually say that he would support a Conservative government.
    These are his acutal words:

    “I think it is an inevitable fact, it is just stating the obvious, the party which has got the strongest mandate from the British people will have the first right to seek to govern.

    “I start from a very simple first principle – it is not Gordon Brown or David Cameron or Nick Clegg who are kingmakers in British politics – it's the British people.

    So the votes of the British people are what should determine what happens afterwards.

    Whichever party have the strongest mandate from the British people, it seems to me obvious in a democracy they have the first right to seek to try and govern, either on their own or with others.”

  3. Leon — on 24th November, 2009 at 8:02 am  

    If this came to pass it would also give the Blue Doves a taste of power and tempt them to defect…

  4. Rumbold — on 24th November, 2009 at 8:15 am  

    meralhusseinece:

    He didn't state it, but rather suggested it. Since the Conservatives are almost certain to do better than Labour, he words are clear: the Lib Dems would work with the Tories.

  5. Leon — on 24th November, 2009 at 8:15 am  

    If this came to pass it would also give the Blue Doves a taste of power and tempt them to defect…

  6. soru12 — on 24th November, 2009 at 10:36 am  

    Whichever party have the strongest mandate from the British people, it seems to me obvious in a democracy they have the first right to seek to try and govern, either on their own or with others

    Which is all very well, but couldn't that be achieved more simply, reliably and with less effort all round by simply winding up the Lib Dems and withdrawing from the campaign?

  7. Shatterface — on 24th November, 2009 at 11:28 am  

    Whichever party wins under FPTP they DON'T have a mandate, they simply have more votes than any of the other parties.

    New Labour never had a 'mandate' to take us to war or to repeal liberties that have stood us good stead for centuries and it's extremely unlikely the Conservatives will be given a 'mandate' to continue New Labour's 'good works'.

  8. James Graham — on 24th November, 2009 at 6:26 pm  

    Nick Clegg has suggested that if there was to be a hung parliament (i.e. one in which no party controls more than 50% of the seats), the Liberal Democrats would support the Conservatives instead of Labour.

    Er, no he hasn’t. The press has.

    The number one reason why the Lib Dems are unlikely to ever go into coalition with the Tories? A Tory Home Secretary. End of.

  9. meralhusseinece — on 25th November, 2009 at 2:59 pm  

    It may be an interpretation, but its far from clear

  10. robs_uncle — on 25th November, 2009 at 5:11 pm  

    Re: 'These are his acutal words: “I think it is an inevitable fact, it is just stating the obvious, the party which has got the strongest mandate from the British people will have the first right to seek to govern.'

    'Mandates' could mean either 'votes' or 'seats' so this remark actually tells us nothing.

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