Sunday, 22 November 2009

Lib-Lab?

A new poll for the Observer indicates a that the next general election will result in a hung parliament. Labour has narrowed the Tories lead to only 6 points, according to a Ipsos Mori poll of 1,006 people, the Tories are on 37%, Labour on 31% and the Lib Dems on 17%.

This begs the question, what government would have in the event of a hung parliament?
The Liberal Democrats have certainly moved to the right in recent years, but they would never be able to get a coalition with the tories past their membership, could they?

The best possiblity would certainly be a Lib Dem-Labour coalition, this formation could be seen to represent a united centre-left, that could avoid, to some extent, the brutality of a tory government. We could infer that the conditions for a Lib Dem-labour cooperation would be the implementation of proportional representation, further constitutional reform, perhaps the reversal of some anti-terror legislation?


In the tradition of that great Yeovil M.P Paddy Ashdown, there is somewhat of an overlap between liberals and New Labour. Certainly most liberals I have ever met would be happier in government with Labour, than the Tories. Back in 1997, Paddy Ashdown and Tony Blair established the 'Joint Cabinet Committee' (JCC) which was used to discuss the implementation of the two parties' shared priorities for constitutional reform; its remit was later expanded to include other issues on which Blair and Ashdown saw scope for co-operation between the two parties. Although this never came to anything, perhaps in the shadow of a tory government this could be a possibility.

But what is the reality of this actually happening?

Former Liberal Democrat leader Ming Campbell has stated:
"If Armageddon happened and we were faced with a Tory government, then the argument for increased co-operation with the centre left might not be a matter of choice, but a matter of compulsion."

In the background of Cameron's links to Anti-European, Neo-Nazi, homophobe, climate change deniers, liberals will naturally be drawn closer to Labour. I think that a Lib Dem-labour coalition is certainly not only a possibility that could occur, but would be miles preferable to a Tory government.

Personally, I still hope that Labour is able to win alone, but this kind of coalition is certainly a distinct possibility.

1 comment:

  1. While the membership at large would no doubt support a coalition with Labour, Nick Clegg is way out to the right of most of them. With the tories increasingly putting out civil-libertarian rhetoric Clegg may well turn out to be the Lib-Dem Ramsay MacDonald (right along with the implosion of his party that is implied).

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