Tory / Lib Dem

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 am, May 11th, 2010 - 4 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: , ,

By the time you read this the result of the post election coalition talks in the UK will almost certainly be known. At time of posting the momentum towards a Tory / Lib Dem coalition seems just about unstoppable. A steady stream of positive announcements and minor leaks all point to a form of deal which some are calling “supply and confidence plus”. As always, you can follow The Guardian’s excellent blow by blow account here.

The Lib Dems have been caught out by a classic case of “be careful what you wish for”. They finally got the balance of power they wanted, but it was a poisoned chalice. The Tories and their tabloid press seem to have been successful in pushing the idea that a coalition with Labour, despite its constitutional legitimacy (and combined 52% vote share), would have been morally illegitimate, because the Tories were the largest single party (36%). (I thought Chris Trotter was being too cynical, but perhaps not). Fascinating to see this play out as an echo of what could have happened in NZ had a Labour / Green / Maori coalition been possible in 2008.

This deal will be seen as a betrayal of trust by many Lib Dem MPs, supporters and voters. The only way the party will survive is if they managed to secure real commitment to real electoral reform as the price of their support. That will be one silver lining to take from the clouds of an otherwise dismal election outcome.

[Update: Gordon Brown is expected to make an announcement shortly offering his resignation as prime minister once the financial crisis in Europe has stabilised. Too late Gordon, too little too late…]

4 comments on “Tory / Lib Dem”

  1. felix 1

    Not sure what you mean by too cynical – it’s post-election negotiations innit.

  2. Carol 2

    Well the talks between Labour & the Lib Dems could push the Tories more towards real electoral reform if nothing else. I’m pleased to hear there are at least talks between Labour and the Lib Dems. I didn’t think Brown would do the right thing and announce his intention to resign in the near future. So I’m pleasantly surprosed.

  3. Lazy Susan 3

    Looks like Gordon’s resignation has frightened the Tory horses. They’re now offering Lib Dems a referendum on changing voting system from FPP to Supplementary Member. Whilst not truly PR, by any stretch of the imagination, it would certainly make it much harder for the Conservatives to get elected. I think there would be alot more Lib Dem voters putting Labour as their second vote rather than Conservative. Likewise Labour voters chosing Lib Dem over Conservative.

    The Tories are looking desperate and many in the party must be appalled at the offer of a referendum on AV. They already had to soften themeselves up to be more presentable to the electorate. Even with the nice Mr Cameron they still couldn’t get elected and now are having to make some serious concessions to woo the Lib Dems.

    Thought Brown’s resignation was very dignified and articulated well that the election result had not produced any clear winner and the Brits had to get used to the idea that this was now about consensus politics. Ironic that, as he falls, he has stolen much of the moral high ground back from the Tories and opened up the real possibility of a traffic light coalition.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    The mostly Tory papers may be wanting to get rid of Brown, but wait till they find out the Conservative Party is like a Dilbert Hotel

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