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Coalition governments and the like

Guido has, in a rather round about fashion, asked which way the LDs would jump if neither of the main parties has a working majority after the next election. Judging by the current state of the polls, a hung parliament looks a distinct possibility, and feeding the current 39/32/21 into Baxter gives the Tories 300 seats, Labour 266 and the LDs 47.

While the Orange Book tendency are people one could possibly do business with, Oaten is standing down and Huhne and Kramer look threatened. If so, it would be quite difficult for any remaining Orange Bookers to seize control of the party post election, and this would leave the LDs looking much like the unreconstructed collectivists that most of their better known names are. Under those circumstances, I cannot foresee that there could be any deal cooked up by Cameron that would see Kennedy, Hughes et al sitting around a cabinet table with David Davis and John Redwood, for example. And that is just on the issue of personalities. I would think that likely LD demands ahead of going into a coalition would include a referendum on PR, cozying up to the EU and withdrawal from Iraq as an absolute minimum. And presumably, in the best tradition of the German Free Democrats, the Foreign Office. Looking at the latter, how on earth could any party leader hope to hold the line if his/her party are eurosceptic, and the 'allies' are unabashed federalists?

If that is the price of getting into power, I'd rather the Tories sat out the next dance.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:22 pm

How does Kramer look threatened? The Lib Dems increased their support in Richmond in last local elections.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:37 pm

Quite possibly - however, Richmond Park shows up as going blue on Baxter using the figures in the most recent poll.

As someone (Tabman?) put it on Iain Dale's blog, there is no such thing as a safe LD seat.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:45 pm

And even if Oaten, Huhne and Kramer would be eliminated, that would leave many other "orange bookers" such as Browne, Bruce, Cable, Campbell, Clegg, Harvey, Lamb, Laws, Moore, Smith, Swinson and Willott.

Of course if the Tories would like to ensure that the Lib Dems would be a more reliable coalition partner in a potential hung parliament, they could target seats held by the "beard and sandals brigade", such as Cheadle, Chesterfield, Colchester, Harrogate and Knaresborough, Lewes, Mid Dorset and North Poole, North Southwark and Bermondsey, Northavon, Portsmouth South, Rochdale, Southport, Teignbridge, and Westmorland and Lonsdale.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:46 pm

As you probably know, Baxter is unreliable in predicting individual seats. You can only get some kind of national figures.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:50 pm

Thank you for your interesting input. So that I can tell you apart from any other anonymous posters, any chance of your using a pseudonym of sorts, please?

Meanwhile, I don't fancy the chances of a Tory win in Bermondsey any time soon...  



Anonymous cb said... 5:04 pm

I don't think that the Tories would win Bermondsey, or some other seats I mentioned, but they could win enough votes so that the Lib Dems would lose. Of course that might not be wise, as it would mean that Labour would win in that seat.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:22 pm

Interesting stuff - thanks again.

Hope to 'see' you here again.  



Blogger Ellee Seymour said... 7:45 pm

Regardless of which seats are up for the taking, these are the kind of headlines we need to keep having over the next couple of years, we have to build up on our momentum. I guess it is Black Monday for Blair and Co.  



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