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Lib-Dems look to Labour as Brown signals resignation

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, May 11th, 2010 - 68 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags: , ,

The British Labour Party is making a final attempt to woo the Liberal Democrats into a progressive coalition government. Gordon Brown will be cast aside as Prime Minister and [the more] proportional AV electoral system introduced without referendum.

On the other side of that the Tories have given way and agreed to give the Lib-Dems a referendum on proportional representation. The catch however is the Government would be free to campaign against it.

If the only alternative for the Lib Dems is a right-wing Conservative government and a spiked AV referendum, then they should go to Labour.

There is a very clear anti-Conservative majority in the UK and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has responsibility to the progressive voters that put him there.

The message from New Zealand’s experience is two silvers beat a gold; and rightly so. More people voted for the silvers.

Either way, it’s great to see Britain finally on a clearer path to a fairer electoral system.

Follow the Guardian’s live blog on the election here

68 comments on “Lib-Dems look to Labour as Brown signals resignation ”

  1. “The message from New Zealand’s experience is two silvers beat a gold; and rightly so. ”

    Is it really? Under MMP, New Zealand has yet to have a Government not led by the party that received the most votes at the election. Sure, we COULD have one comprising the second and third (or even second and fourth) parties, but I suspect that even in our PR system there would be some resistance to this.

    • Jenny 1.1

      Hi Andrew, Maybe you are right and it is now time to fully embrace the MMP environment.

      I agree with Foxy that “two silvers do beat a gold” but I also agree with you, that even in our PR system there would be some resistance to this.

      Hopefully with the aim of ousting the Nats from the treasury benches the major players could get over this.

      I see that it now seems obvious that the Labour Party will be backing Rahui Katene’s private members bill for the removal of GST off healthy food.

      While this will not see this bill passed, as National and ACT have the majority and are opposed.

      This initiative by Labour lays the groundwork for a possible coalition that could oust the Nats and is a refreshing change from the sectarian attacks that have characterised the relationship between the Labour and Maori parties.

      This could be a game changer for next year’s election result, already considered by all sides to be a forgone conclusion for Key and the Nats.

      Particularly if the Labour Party could agree to some tactical accommodation of the Maori party. (As the Nats did for ACT and will probably try to do again, even though everyone agrees ACT is burnt toast.)

      Now that the Foreshore and Seabed controversy is behind us, I don’t see any reason why this couldn’t be done.

      Of course Labour Maori MPs may be miffed if they are asked to stand aside in marginal seats, but if they are valuable MPs they could be placed higher on the list.

      Such an electoral alliance may be the best hope for an upset Labour led win next year, But it should not be entered into without the Maori Party agreeing to not go into coalition with National whatever the result.

      So even if National do scrape in, they will be in a very weakened position.

      [lprent: The closing tag on an anchor is </a>. It isn’t <a>. Fixed the large link. ]

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        Hi Lynne I seem to having some trouble with the ‘click to edit’ function.

        What I wanted to add, was that I thought that Labour Party MPs who could step aside to allow the Maori Party to gain a bigger majority could look to Gordon Brown’s example of a personal sacrifice for the good of his country and party.

        In my opinion this would be worthwhile sacrifice to make as I deeply fear that the second term of this National administration will be much worse than their first, particularly for the grass roots majority of this country.

        If, as in the UK there is a clear anti-Conservative majority then in my opinion both the Maori and Labour Parties need to get over their sectarian differences for the good of the people they purport to represent.

        Lynne I also wanted to ask Andrew whether he thinks that the Maori Party’s ideas on Tikana Maori, or Tino Rangatira Tanga would be seen as an insurmountable problem by Labour to such an electoral or coalition accomodation with the Maori party. Particularly in the light of the fact that this doesn’t seem to be a problem with the Nats.

        [lprent: I’ll check out the re-edit. It does rely on ajax, so it is a wee bit unreliable on soem combinations or browser, operating system, ISP, and firewalls. I can’t do much more than see if it is working for me.
        Andrew can no doubt answer for himself…. 😈 ]

      • RedLogix 1.1.2

        Gold = Winning an outright majority.

        What we actually have is three parties with silvers at 36%, 30% and 22% … plus a bunch of regional parties clutching a brace of bronzes.

        No-one got the gold.

      • TightyRighty 1.1.3

        la la land of jenny, this is reality calling.

        why would the maori party agree to anything that specifically rules out the nats to work with labour? the average punter may have a short memory, but the maori party won’t forget a century of being last cab off the rank. nor will it forget the treatment handed out to the greens after they refused to work with national.

        yet you are asking the maori party to give up working with the majority party that listened and accepted their policies, even if not all were enacted or supported, to work with the party that has given them nothing but the cold shoulder? over a bill that would either see mcdonalds get cheaper or tangle our justice system up in lengthy litigious battles that serve little purpose, but have little tangible effect on the obesity problem, as personal choice is impossible to legislate for. labour or the greens would still try though i am sure

        • Lew 1.1.3.1

          TR, a century of being last cab off the rank under Labour? I’m no fan of their treatment of Māori, but it’s more like half a century of being last cab off the rank for National, and five very ugly years of being last-cab for Labour.

          Anyway, if that last five eyars has taught anyone anything, it should be that past performance is a poor indicator of future performance when it comes to Māori issues.

          L

          • TightyRighty 1.1.3.1.1

            whatever lew, whether the dates are right or not, the message is the same.

            and actually to comment on the original post, this is a sleazy attempt to put labour in power again in the UK. and electoral reform with no referendum? the british people may be suffering from apathy, but that will be the straw that breaks the camels back. only the fiscal fool gordon brown and any form of labour party could have that little respect for the electorate

            • Lew 1.1.3.1.1.1

              TR, well, no — since you’re using the dates as evidence, their correcteness matters.

              As for your latter comment — the test of legitimacy is not some airy, fluffy “moral” legitimacy: it’s the confidence of the House of Commons. Whoever has that is entitled to govern for as long as they have it. For their part, the electorate is richly entitled to throw a Labour/Lib Dem government out of office as soon as it fails a confidence vote, which (for the record) I think they will. The main reason I’m generally against this course of action is because I think that when the do get thrown out, it won’t be for a term, it’ll be for a generation. If they get a meaningful PR system in place before that happens, it might be worth it — but I’m not sure they will.

              L

              • Pascal's bookie

                http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/30445.html

                It’s the new epistemology Lew..

                I frankly don’t know if every statistic in Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative was correct or not. Nor do I know if every statistic or number in Reagan’s A Time For Choosing speech in 1964 was correct. I DON’T CARE. I know the facts were in the ballpark, and more importantly, the principles were timeless and correct.

              • Lew

                Mmm, they sure do like their math fuzzy nowadays.

                L

        • Jenny 1.1.3.2

          You sound frightened at this possibility, RightyTighty.

          Good!

    • Lazy Susan 1.2

      But Andrew, we’ve never had a result with two silvers – only silver and bronze.

      Remember the LibDems got 23% of the popular vote. Third parties in New Zealand get well under 10%. Labour & LibDem form 52% of the popular vote and represent a much better policy match than Tory LibDem.

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        “Silver and Bronze”, Maori and Labour.

        It’s just sublime.

        • CnrJoe 1.2.1.1

          Platinum and Gold – Labour and Maori

          Uranium and Unobtanium – National and Act

          “Its just priceless”

      • rich 1.2.2

        exactly. if lab/lib (or for that matter lib/con) form a government they will be one of the few UK governments with majority support.

    • simon s 1.3

      I have to agree with Michael. Clark signalled very clearly last election that if she and greens had the numbers, they would form a government. Even if National was the larger party.

  2. Matt 2

    Its a bit different in NZ as there is no third party that holds the balance of power to quite the same extent. It is purely the number of seats in Parliament – that is what a Parliamentary democracy is about – not who thinks they have a ‘moral’ right or who gets a plurality – but who can pull together a majority.

    Michael – the tories have offered AV rather than PR.

    • Lew 2.1

      Matt, PR is a generic which refers to a suite of proportional political systems, of which AV — Alternative Vote, it’s basically MMP — is one.

      Completely agree on the first point, though — thoulgh the perceived lack of legitimacy, a hostile media, and a large segment of the population who feel wronged make it difficult for a government to get anything done, regardless of whether they scrape in with the numbers or not. Example: USA.

      L

      • Lazy Susan 2.1.1

        Lew, I think AV is basically Supplementary Member not MMP

      • Matt 2.1.2

        Hi Lew, AV is preferential voting not PR – in Aust we called it STV, but the UK electoral reform society calls STV multi member preferential voting.

  3. Lew 3

    Brown resigning is a great development, but Labour and the Lib Dems still don’t have the mathematics on their side. How will they manage a coalition of the fringe minor parties? This is an electorate which distrusts the very thought of coalition government, and with little or no practical political experience of coalition management (though Clegg has some due to his work in Europe).

    Faking it until they make it is a bold strategy, but the downside risk is the sort of multi-party infighting fiasco which gives proportional representation a bad name, and the appearance (to be thoroughly milked by the media) of illegitimacy.

    L

    • Matt 3.1

      With SNP and Plaid Cymru who have said they want a coalition and the SDL, who sat on the government benches in the last Parliament they have 327 – in effect they only need 323 because Sinn Fein got 5 seats and they never take theirs – so they can do it – they’ll have a leg programme agreed in the coalition or confidence and supply agreements – as well as confidence and supply – the rest of the leg will have to be negotiated (just like NZ Labour did through the 9 years of their last government) so it can work, it just means that they will have to govern cautiously, which after the last 30 years or so can only be a good thing.

      • Lew 3.1.1

        Yeah, but that’s just the sort of unwieldy coalition of competing interests, egos and tails-wagging-dogs which I’m talking about. It’ll be a mammoth task to hold it together in the teeth of the chilly wind of media, public and market opinion, a task likely beyond any politician I can see taking the job. Mandelson might be up to it (but there are other problems with that).

        L

        • Marty G 3.1.1.1

          The Cons won’t be able to hold it together either. The parties aren’t as tightly whipped in the UK as they are here. Anything meaningful will either be opposed by the Tories’ Right or the Lib Dems.

          New election under new system next year?

          • Lew 3.1.1.1.1

            Right, but the Tories’ failure to hold it together is their problem, not ours. Why not just let ’em fail?

            L

            • jcuknz 3.1.1.1.1.1

              That is hardly a very satisfactory attitude .. the sort of thing being critised on a parrallel thread .. win at all costs against English. We want a strong and stable England holding her place in the world as soon as possible regardless of which party is government … not governments falling over and over as Italy suffers from over the years.

              • Lew

                But JC, my argument is that Labour-LD-PC-SDP-SDL-Green-Alliance coalition is unmanageable, and will be less strong and stable than a Tory minority government with possible Lib Dem support (which is itself a very unstable option).

                L

        • Matt 3.1.1.2

          Better than the tories 😉

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Does anyone care what the ‘markets’ think. In The UK a great slab of the ‘markets’ are state owned as they couldnt do their own knitting.
      In the US markets fell because….. who knows, but it had something to do with computers

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      ‘The fall in sterling is the clearest message that the market can send that it wants a Tory administration.’

      It’s not about what the “markets” (Read, the rich financiers) want but what the people want and the people don’t want a conservative government. Probably because they’ll give everything away to their rich mates – again.

  4. gobsmacked 5

    It’s wrong to change the voting system, and have it in place before the next election, without a referendum.

    Such a move would never get through the Commons anyway. Many Labour MPs (pro-FPP) would oppose it. Many others would oppose it on constitutional or ‘moral’ grounds (i.e. no referendum). The Lib Dems’ would look terrible trying to force it through, like the “old politics” their supporters despise.

    And even if this happened (and it won’t), a change from FPP to the Australian system is not progress. Minor parties would still be excluded from the ‘Lower House’, as they are in Australia.

    Simple test: next NZ election, National gets a majority. There’s also a referendum on MMP. And Simon Power has promised a second run-off referendum (if required).

    But John Key says we’re switching to FPP anyway, because … well, he’s got the numbers in Parliament, so there.

    Everyone OK with that?

    • Lew 5.1

      Clearer equivalent: Same circumstance except National doesn’t get an overall majority — just a plurality with a bare parliamentary majority provided by support parties. Or not even a plurality, just a distant second-place.

      Could get ugly.

      L

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        Except that we already have proportional voting in NZ.

        It can easily be argued that the high turnout for the lib dems at 23% was not reflected in their seat count of 9%, which is a large chunk of the electorate saying that they want a proportional system. Obviously not a referendum, but it’s really not the same as some party coming into power and changing things without any support from the public.

        • gobsmacked 5.1.1.1

          The Lib Dems didn’t campaign on AV. They’ve actively opposed it. Their own members are against it.

          Wrong in principle, and disastrous in practice. It would take a journo or political opponent 5 minutes to find a senior Lib Dem on the record, attacking AV.

          But it’s a pointless deabte really, because there is no way the Lib Dems will sign up to it. PR is to them what the F & S is to the Maori Party.

          • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1

            Having just read the wikipedia entry on AV (or STV as called in most places), IMO it looks like it’d be better for the lib dems than continuing with FPP would be. The lib dems have significant backing that people could safely vote for them as first preference, with labour as second preference, instead of just voting for labour because they know lib dems will never win, as is the case right now.

            But yes, if the lib dems are on record saying that AV sucks, it’s hard to flip-flop on that, although having said that the current situation (need to get a government ASAP, best of a bad bunch of options) does give them some leeway and justification in their eventual decision.

  5. I dreamed a dream 6

    This is the best drama I have ever seen from the UK. Not even the BBC has produced anything like this! I have never ever taken a keen interest in UK politics, until now. I just can’t keep hitting the refresh button for updates everywhere!

  6. deemac 7

    why on earth would Labour want to do a precarious deal with the LibDems? The next govt will no doubt do some horrendous things that will make it extremely unpopular. What is needed is for Labour to regroup and call for action to make the guilty (bankers, city speculators) pay the price, not public servants, pensioners etc as currently planned.

  7. I dreamed a dream 8

    If Lib Dem and Labour form a coalition to govern, the Tories will be in trouble, with deep-seated internal strife and David Cameron will very likely to be sacked sooner rather than later. There are already divisions in the Tories and bitterness toward David Cameron now for their poor showing in the Election. For David Cameron and the Tories, the stakes are high. Get into government and they will have some outward unity for a while. Stay in opposition and the knives will be out and the Tories will be in utter disarray.

    If Tories do not govern, their negotiating strategy and offers tabled against their party DNA will form more bones of contention in the party. It will be messy to the max. Blood will spill.

    The LibDem/Labour government will be far more stable than the Tory opposition. Clegg knows it.

    A LibDem+Labour+others governing coalition will be able to take advantage with another election when the Tories are in deep disarray and that will be sooner rather than later.

    • Pat 8.1

      OR…. LibDem/Labour/All-comers coalition will be so fractured and unstable in tough economic times, that at next election they will be punished by voters. Its possible that such a coalition would hand the Tories a clear majority at next election, probably still under FPP, and electoral reform will never see the light of day again.

      • I dreamed a dream 8.1.1

        For Labour, their best option is to stay in opposition under a new leader, against a Tory-LibDem government that is inherently unstable due to major policy differences. LibDems are actually further left than Labour. In the Tories, there are hard right wingers who are against working with LibDems, but Cameron can whip them into grudging acceptance of LibDems being partners in government.

        If Labour were to continue governing, there are challenges as you have mentioned, but the similarity of the left’s “progressive” policies will form a glue that can and is needed to overcome the awkwardness of the arithmetics of the grouping. Sure, they have policy differences but those policy differerences are minor compared to differences between the left and right.

        For the Tories, their best and only feasible option is to be in government, or else they will be in disarray in opposition due to infighting and unhappiness with Cameron. So, the stakes are very high for them. But if they were to govern in conjunction with the LibDems, the great challenge is to manage the major differences in policies between the Tories’ right wing and the LibDems leftwing policies. And there’ll be the ongoing distrust between the two parties because historically they hate and don’t trust each other. The LibDems will always be watching behind their backs. It would be advantageous for Cameron to blame the instability on the LibDems and call an early election.

        For the LibDems, they will be more likely to be shafted by the Tories than Labour. Tory and LibDems policies just don’t mix. If they form a government with the Tories, the LibDems will lose voters whether the government is stable or not. There will be a lot of unhappy LibDem voters who will flood back to Labour. If a LibDem-Tory government collapses, the floodgates will truly open with voters going back to Labour. But in a Lib-Lab coalition, the LibDem voters will be happy where they are, and if there’s a collapse, they will not rush to Labour as much.

        So, summarising what’s best for the parties:
        – Labour: they should rebuild in opposition under a new leader. But, they can still govern with LibDem, and succeed.
        – Tories: they HAVE to get into government or they’ll be in trouble.
        – LibDems: for long term survival, their partner is Labour

        My pick is LibDems will go with Labour.

        • Lew 8.1.1.1

          Yeah, IDAD, but you’re also the person who thinks NZ Labour’s current polling indicates that they’re doing well, which basically marks you out as a sycophantic pollyanna. The power of positive thought just ain’t enough.

          L

          • I dreamed a dream 8.1.1.1.1

            Hey Lew,

            Me a “sycophantic pollyanna?”

            Yes, I still think NZ Labour still have a chance based on current polling. I haven’t been proven wrong yet on that because the Election is still over a year away. But let me say, though, it is possible that I may be proven wrong when the time comes. Anyway, that’s not within the flow of this thread.

            Now, I make my analyses as best as I can, but I do not claim to be infallible. And I respect your views and analyses too. But it really puzzles me why you have to resort to name-calling. I had to look up the meaning of “sycophantic pollyanna” 🙂

            Relax buddy!

            • Lew 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Hang on — you didn’t specify that they “had a chance”, you thought they were “looking great”, based on some fuzzy math which argued Labour only needed ~40% to form a government. But I didn’t mean it quite as harshly as all of that. Only that you seem relentlessly uncritical, and Labour needs more uncritical fanbois like it needs a hole in the head.

              L

              • I dreamed a dream

                Lew, thanks for increasing my vocab by two or three words today, latest being “fanbois.” 🙂

                My use of “looking great” would have meant “had a chance”, or more precisely “had a very good chance”. About my use of “fuzzy math”, you’ve basically hit the nail on the head in terms of how I tend to analyze things. It’s all from my technical background: a PhD in Engineering (from Auckland University) from theoretical engineering mechanics, having taught Math and Statistics at university, and now making a living on my own doing data analysis, which involves using a bit of probabilistic analysis to predict future outcomes. The “fuzzy math” is in my blood. I know full well that my way of analyzing things can seem a bit counter-intuitive a lot of the time. But it can be argued that my way of analysis does remove a lot of emotion from the situations under consideration. I realize my way of looking a things does have its downsides though, one being that it can make me look like a sycophantic pollyanna and uncritical fanbois. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • rich 8.1.1.2

          If the libs halved their vote but won fair voting they’d still get more MPs than today. Their real entitlement is 149 MPs.

  8. todd 9

    Oh this is going to be fun fun fun.Stupid bloody poms deserve all that comes their way over this.

  9. tc 10

    mmmm….see what happens when you choose the 2IC/Next in line candidate rather than a jounger/vibrant go getter with a manageable association to the former leaders and the style……pay attention Phil.

  10. SPC 11

    I wrote to Blair back in Jan 98 and recommended 500 electorates with AV/preferential voting and 125 party list seats chosen by a “.8% of the vote 1 seat” approach. He chose otherwise, because Labour could get re-elected without any change.

    With AV this election there would have been the LD’s getting over a 100 seats, possibly 150 – as LD’s when second would have received votes from 3rd placed Tories and Labour to win the seat. That would have allowed a coalition majority with both Tories and Labour.

    Now the LD’s feel obliged to go with the Tories as there is no majority with Labour alone.

    I suspect Tories and Labour both under-estimate the extent to which even AV will compromise their to the manor born approach to electoral politics.

    However, while LD will be advantaged by AV, if it’s genuine electoeral reform they want, they should hold out for 125 seat SM, to ensure that parties like the Greens (the one Coromandel seat is too tenuous) can emerge with sustainable representation within parliament. They must stand on principle and be greater than their own party interest – unlike Tories and Labour who only act in self-interest.

    • I dreamed a dream 11.1

      The Guardian has done an analysis on how the election results would look under AV:

      Under FPP:
      Tory – 306
      Labour – 258
      LibDem – 57
      Others – 28

      Under AV (Alternative Vote)
      Tory – 281
      Labour – 262
      LibDem – 79

      Under AV, the Tories lose, Labour and LibDem gain.

      Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/may/10/proportional-representation-general-election-2010

      • SPC 11.1.1

        Well my guess was out, I suppose the reason is that Tories had a clearer lead in seats in many seats than they would normally have – this time at least.

        However if that lead over Labour reduced (as one would expect next time), then AV should have a more decisive impact.

        But – as there would have been a Labour-LD coalition victory this time with a fairer electoral system (one which Tories are accepting – within a public acceptance by referendum), Clegg has a mandate to go either way.

        Clegg should, in my opinion, allow a Tory minority government for a year – with a referendum to the puiblic by the end of the year. Effectively allows the LD a veto (made public within parliament if the Tories so choose) over policy, a veto from outside formal coalition.

        That allows Tories to feel the need to go again to the polls for a new mandate under AV. Which makes a Labour-LD coalition within a couple of years likely and the more unpalatable parts of the Tory programme being blocked in the meantime.

      • jcuknz 11.1.2

        I don’t see how the Guardian can make the comparison becuase there is only one “name’ under FPP … where do they get their data from for transfering votes. It just a guestimate.

  11. SPC 12

    Does anyone else suspect a fear in the UK that MMP would result in the BNP and a Moslem party becoming electoral forces … .

    • Lew 12.1

      There certainly is that fear, mostly being put about by anti-PR scaremongers despite the fact that no party not presently represented in the parliament would be so under a proportional system with the customary 5% threshold (assuming voting behvaiour remains the same, which is a bogus assumption but anyway ….)

      If they do go to a proportional system, expect heavy constraints on representativeness — such as the requirement that a party win at least one seat, or a high threshold.

      L

    • PK 12.2

      ***Does anyone else suspect a fear in the UK that MMP would result in the BNP and a Moslem party becoming electoral forces .***

      UKIP would probably benefit more, they received over 900,000 votes. A Muslim party would probably be more viable in 10-20 years.

  12. SPC 13

    Perhaps MMP with a ban on parties based on race or religion.

    • felix 13.1

      That rules out ACT then.

      • PK 13.1.1

        ***That rules out ACT then.***

        No, it would rule out the Maori Party.

        • felix 13.1.1.1

          I was referring to the religion.

        • Lew 13.1.1.2

          Not really. The māori party isn’t race-based, it’s philosophically-based — it’s just that the philosophical underpinning isn’t Western-European in origin. Their manifesto is completely clear: anyone who shares these values (or wishes to) is welcome, regardless of race or other factors.

          L

        • SPC 13.1.1.3

          One would presume there would be an exemption for indigenous peoples parties – the UK does not recognise any indigenous peoples.

      • Name 13.1.2

        It would presumably also rule out the Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru etc.

  13. Name 14

    The headline is just plain wrong.

    Clegg is still looking to the party with the biggest single vote to form a government with, as he should. Brown’s resignation removes one obstacle to a LB/Lab government but raises another one – how can Clegg commit now to work in government with Labour when he has no idea who he will be working with – and who would be Prime Minister – in six months?

    The Left (which I am loosely part of) naturally want to see the Tories kept out, but the Liberal Democratic Party are not Labour-lite. Yes, many voted Lib/Dem to keep the Tories out who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Labour under Brown but their concerns are not ‘Left-wing’. They want to see PR of a sort, know the economy needs some bitter medicine but want a stable government which is not going to be held to ransom by a couple of Welshmen.

    If it’s to have any future the LDP needs to show now that it is not going to be the automatic lacky of one party or the other. It needs to demonstrate that it will support the one which offers most likelihood of getting Liberal-Democratic policies implemented, and against the fact that it has more in common with Labour is that fact that an LDP/Labour government scrabbling for votes from a rainbow of other parties could be bad for the Country and unable to deliver anyway.

    • Lew 14.1

      the Liberal Democratic Party are not Labour-lite

      I think this is a crucial point. They’ve been stronger critics of much Labour policy than the Tories — particular on civil liberties topics and the war in Iraq. Their economic platform is also pretty distinct from Labour’s. The gaps aren’t as broad between them and Lab as between them and the Tories, but they’re still quite broad.

      L

  14. Carol 15

    I agree the Lib-Dems are not a great fit with a lot of Labour. But they are a better fit than theTories.

    I don’t think Brown going means it’s a problem that the support parties will enter into an agreement without knowing who will lead Labour. Actually, that could be a plus. When Labour chooses a new leader, they may do so in a context of a rainbow coalition. That may influence who will be selected as leader. I can imagine that in such a context, the support partners will send signals to Labour as to their preference for Prime Minister. And the people in Labour who vote for the new leader will be likely to choose a leader who will be least likely to rock the rainbow boat.

    It still may be better for the left & people who favour proportional representation for there to be a LibDem-Tory alliance. In the long run I would like to see a more diverse representation in government in Britain.

    But there are various possible outcomes for either a Labour-led or Tory-led government, I’m partly just curious to see how it plays out… and hopeful. But part of me, having lived in England for the whole of Thatcher’s reign, just does not want to see any of that Tory lot in government ever again. It was too painful to see the devastation it brought to many sections of the British population. And it was extremely frustrating that, in spite of strong opposition, they kept getting re-elected on less than 50% of the vote.

  15. jcuknz 16

    Now the 12th and we know it is a ToryLib future .. for at least a day anyway 🙂

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