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Could the coalition continue even if there’s a Tory majority?

May 30th, 2011

Senior aides say this is what they want

According to Tim Montgomerie at Con Home there’s a report by Rachel Sylvester in tomorrow’s Times that says that aides to Cameron and senior Tory ministers want the LDs to stay in government even if the Conservatives win a majority at the next election.

Rachel Sylvester apparently says that there’s a view that Lib Dems are essential to ensure any Tory government isn’t held to ransom by “unreconstructed elements” amongst the blues.

She’s reported as writing: “For the Tory modernisers, the Lib Dems are the ideal weapon to ward off the enemy within… The Prime Minister is pleased to have political cover for keeping the 50p top rate of tax, abandoning the “prison works” approach to crime, avoiding a return to grammar schools and retaining the ring-fence on aid — all policies that infuriate the rightwingers. “The traditionalists are just not on planet Earth,” says one Cameroon.”

The central notion is that it’s a lot easier for Cameron to pursue his agenda without his right wing holding the balance of power.

But isn’t there a contradiction here? If the blues had an overall majority then the yellows would have far less bargaining strength and the right could be a lot more powerful.

There’s also a problem with the Lib Dems – I find it hard to envisage that the party would allow such an arrangement to happen.

I get a feeling that Montgomerie is about to prepare one of his Tory members’ polls. They ain’t going to like it.

Mike Smithson