Monday, May 10, 2010

What Will the Next 24 Hours Bring?

As I resume post-election blogging I'd like to start by pointing out that even as a candidate in last Thursday's election I have no more access to the information of what is being discussed in London than any other party member. Therefore what I am about to type is based purely on the media reports of the last few days.

The statements last night from Danny Alexander and William Hague both focused on how the talks were working through the economic questions. This is the key stage of supporting any Government forward from this point. It is possible that the Liberal Democrats could agree to support a sound policy to deal with the deficit without entering a formal coalition. If this area can be resolved it would be possible that Cameron could lead a minority administration without the need for further support. It would also put the banks and markets at rest over what they see as uncertainty.

However that would then leave him requiring support on other issues and policy implementations when they come up. I'm sure that other areas of dispute, as Alex Wilcock put it the other day the other 3 key principles of our manifesto are up for discussion. All through the election Nick, myself and all our candidates emphasised that these four elements of fairness were the core of what we were standing for. Many of you have expressed to me your opinions on that going forward. These could well be the deciding points for how formal or informal the relationship between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems might be.

Somebody has raised the issue with me of have the Conservatives got the right to law down the law over Scotland. That may be one place where our 11 Scottish Lib Dem MPs may end up having a say. But we were voting in a UK wide election just the Conservatives have lost the trust of the Scots since the Thatcher years.

Whether there is a full blown coalition or a deal of "confidence and supply" one thing does appear clear a deal with Labour is off the table as Nick Clegg said last night that such a deal would be illegitimate in the public's eyes.

One possible scenario could be however, a confidence and supply agreement with the Tories and using the first opposition day to get a vote on proportional representation (if the Tories do not give on this) if Labour back that, Caroline Lucas, the Northern Irish parties and Scottish and Welsh Nationalists would also leading to a majority in the house on the issue.


Anonymous said...

My only worry about trying to get a motion past on opposition day is that there are quiet a few Labour who don't support PR (like Tom Harris and Jack Straw) and so in the likely event they had a free vote or a low whip would probably vote against. Then there is also the fact that it would have to get past the house of lords which again would be difficult.

Stephen Glenn said...

If Labour do vote against on an opposition day then all the better for us Lib Dems. If Labour are for it in their manifesto yet against it in a debate only a few weeks later it'll show the public just how committed they really are to the carrot they hung out there in the dying days to try and persuade people leaning Lib Dem to vote for them.


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