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Will the Lib Dems enter another coalition?

23 April 2014

Danny Alexander’s comments to the BBC that, in the event of another hung parliament, the Lib Dems wouldn’t make a confidence and supply deal with either the Tories or Labour, is the clearest statement yet of the leadership’s position. The Clegg circle believes that a second term in government is crucial to consolidating the changes that he made to the party, to making the Liberal Democrats think like a party of government.

Not everyone in the party is so keen on a second coalition. One influential Lib Dem MP told me a few months back that he thought a post 2015 coalition with either party would be a disaster for the Lib Dems. His rationale was that going in with David Cameron again would make the Lib Dems look like an annex of the Tory party. While a deal with Labour would endanger the Liberal Democrat’s Tory-facing seats in just the way that coalition with Labour seems set to cost them a whole bunch of their Labour-facing seats.

But if there is another hung parliament, Nick Clegg will undoubtedly want a second coalition. The questions now are: will either of the main parties be prepared to strike a deal and will the Liberal Democrats’ triple lock approve it?

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  • CharlietheChump

    what if posts about the late libdems are pointless

  • Denis_Cooper

    “Will the Lib Dems enter another coalition?”

    That should really be rephrased as

    “Would the Lib Dems enter another coalition?”

    and the answer is obviously “yes”, the Lib Dems would enter another coalition in the
    rather unlikely event that either of the two larger parties needed their small number of MPs to get a majority in the Commons.

  • Colin56

    If the Scots vote Yes to independence – as they should and I hope will – this September, then next May’s GE takes on a very different aspect, as any government elected with the support of MPs from constituencies in Scotland will be short lived. I think that, after the fiasco of the ‘five days behind closed doors’ after the last election, the electorate will have little appetite for another coalition, of whatever combination; and would prefer a short-term government with another election later in 2016 or early 2017 (this would mean the repeal of the profoundly anti-democratic Fixed Term Parliaments Act). On that basis, either way the Lib Dems are on a sticky wicket, and, in my opinion, in no position to start calling the shots.

  • Tony_E

    Seeing as he’s lost all his ‘Left wing’ support back to Labour, then the ideal scenario is a coalition with Labour.

    That way he can shed all his ‘Non Socialist/ true Liberal’ support as well.

  • EschersStairs

    Nick Clegg is a charmeleon, he will go with the side who is most desperate to get into government.
    Being part of a coalition government with Tories or Labour will not be ‘a disaster’ for the Lib Dem brand. There are a thousand ways to spin getting into coalition government as a major Lib Dem victory. And these sorry creatures will spin hard.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    “We’ve established what you are, we are now discussing the price”

    As the old joke goes.

  • Brigantian

    If the polls have any credibility then the Lib Dems will not be in a position to form a coalition. The only coalition they could form would be with Labour, which even with SNP support would be a minority against Conservative, UKIP & Unionists. In fact it is hard to see a workable coalition after the 2015 General Election. Labour might try to run with Sinn Fein support. Labour grass roots are hardly likely to work with Lib Dems and the idea of Alex Salmond and Ed Miliband getting together is improbable. Most likely scenario is short lived minority Labour Government followed by Boris Johnson taking over as leader of Conservatives and forming coalition with UKIP.

    • CraigStrachan

      Assuming Ukip have any MPs, that is.

      • Wessex Man

        The way things are going we are going to have more than the Lib/dums.

    • Andy

      I doubt UKIP will gain a single MP – their support is too evenly spread for that. And because Labour gerrymandered the electoral system they have a built in advantage because their seats tend to be urban and small.

      • Wessex Man

        According to a poll carried out in Eastleigh, where we came second in the by-election, we would now romp it!

    • Wessex Man

      Mu party Ukip would have nothing to do with Cameron or Cameron light= Boris!

  • sfin

    The headline to this assumes they will have a choice…

  • shelltop

    Political whores. They will go with however the maths add up.

  • Lady Magdalene

    I hope they’re wiped out in the EU Elections and annihilated in 2015…. the prospect of a “Portillo” moment if Clegg is ousted by the good people of Sheffield Hallam is wonderful to contemplate.

    • Alexsandr

      while clegg getting decapitated would be delicious, cable losing his election would be better.

      • Rossspeak

        Both would be wonderful – time to consign this idiotic party- who have only too clearly demonstrated they are not fit for power- to oblivion.

  • swatnan

    The most sensible thing Danny has said for some time. If there is a hung Parliament, the Lib Dems should make it clear that they will bring any Minority Govt down at the first opportunity. This would force the Queen to knock heads together and get some sort of Coalition with a stable parliamentary majority formed. But Danny may be disappointed; we could end up with a Grand Coalition, and the Lib Dems back on the Opposition Benches.

  • Alexsandr

    I look forward to the limp dumps coming to my front door to ask me to vote for them. I will just point and laugh.
    I suspect many will set their dogs on them

    there again the tories wont get a welcome either.

    • telemachus

      Sounds like the LibDem candidate will call the yellow van after you answer the door

    • Harold Angryperson

      “I suspect many will set their dogs on them”

      They should take care, the Libs have a track record of taking no prisoners when it comes to dogs…

  • Adam Carter

    Let’s look at it another way: a party that comes third thinks it has an entitlement to be in government and to choose its partner in that government.
    I don’t find it easy to approve of that.

  • Andy

    With any luck they wont have a single MP left in 2015.

    • monty61

      Amen to that.

    • AndrewTurvey

      I would love that to happen, but doubt it will. I’m sure they’ll get at least 20.

      • Andy

        God help us. Of course the reason the idiot Clegg chucked his teddy out of the pram re House of Lords reform was that it was all designed to give us the dictatorship of the LibDems. Now he wants it in the Commons too.

        • telemachus

          No chance Andy
          This time we have Ukip to split the vote in the 43 Tory marginals to deliver a famous victory to the forces of reason

          • EschersStairs

            Ukip will gobble up the right-end-of-spectrum votes from the Tories. But Tories have been so cosy with Lib Dems that left wingers won’t be able to smell the difference.

          • Colonel Mustard

            You do not represent the forces of reason. You represent the forces of darkness boasting that they are the forces of reason.

          • Andy

            And God save us from the Fascist Labour Party too. They should be liquidated for crimes against humanity.

      • Kitty MLB

        They are an utter disgrace, nothing was in the ‘ national interest’
        they just want to be able to continue holding the country and main parties to ransom.
        Hold all the cards, and ensure permanent coalitions. The electorate
        has seen how the undemocratic the Lib Dems are .Coalitions are
        just, as he said about AV, a grubby little compromise. We deserve
        better, so I hope you are wrong about the 20 seats.

        • AndrewTurvey

          I doubt they could do much harm with 20 seats. There are another 20 seats in Northern Ireland and SNP and UKIP could get a dozen each. Even in a hung parliament they might not be that influential.

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