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Coalition politics

From Anne H

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Ed Miliband has said that he would not lead a government if it depended on the support of the SNP. David Cameron has said that he would not lead a government if it depended on him giving up a referendum on the EU. Could this mean that neither of them is able to lead a government?

Oh, no - that depends on them sticking to their principles!

From Steve Sweeney

Sunday, 3 May 2015

It is not necessary to have a majority to form the government. There could be a minority government which would function as long as it was not voted down by the other parties. An interesting but precarious situation.

From Eleanor Land

Monday, 4 May 2015

There are reports in the press that Nick Clegg and his cronies are privately already talking to Cameron about forming a Coalition. Whilst this is happening they are indulging in faux outrage about the terrible plans the Tories have to hit the poor again. No mention of the fact that the Lib Dems have been eagerly voting for these awful policies for the last 5 years.

They no longer a progressive party, they believe the poor alone should pay for austerity, as evidenced by their record in Coalition with the Tories.

From Anthony Rae

Monday, 4 May 2015

Let me make my one and only intervention in these largely partisan Hebweb election threads but from a non-party political perspective – yes that is possible; as an environmentalist I would look across the parties and consider which will do most to protect and enhance our environment, and particularly act to tackle climate change, and vote accordingly, on principle or tactically - with these few simple observations:

  • The polls have stayed pretty much flat for the last 6 months, as can be seen here. They haven't moved and they aren't going to in the last few days before the election.
  • Translating these national voting intentions into MPs through our '1st past the post' electoral system produces the numbers you can see here (and there's also an interesting map which colours the country according to winning party). This is the forecast produced by UK academics which has the imprimatur of master US pollster Nate Silver who featured in the recent Panorama programme. Again this hasn't moved much, and has had both Conservative and Labour parties hovering between 270-280 seats each for months. The minimum each needs to get to form a majority government on their own is 326; so that isn't going to happen.
  • It is quite certain that there will be another coalition government for the next 5 years, so it therefore becomes a question of: will that be a Conservative or Labour led coalition; and then – and critically - who will be their minority partners?
  • Having understood that national picture, voters can then scale back down to the level of their own constituency – each one of which represents a unique set of circumstances and electoral outcomes – and make their own individual voting choice, whatever that might be. But I hope they appreciate that they are voting to construct – as they were in 2010, but without realising it – a coalition government of more than one party, so should be thinking as well about voting for the minority coalition party/ies as well as the majority one – depending on which candidates are the most likely challengers in their particular constituency.

This is fairly straightforward stuff but it ought to allow people to clarify their voting choices (should they wish to do that). It's a situation which has arisen because, for the first time, it's now possible to predict with some certainty what the outcome of the 2015 election is going to be, days and weeks in advance – allowing for the usual margin of error in the polls – and then to vote on the basis of that knowledge to try and achieve the coalition of their preference.