Monday, 2 August 2010

Sooner rather than later

The latest Conservativehome survey of Conservative party members shows a small majority in favour of a non-aggression pact with their Coalition partners where they are the top two parties.  The primary argument against it is maintaining voter loyalty, organisational machine and potential impact upon other levels. As Tim Montgomerie sums it up:

"What’s the point of having a Conservative organisation in a seat such as Torbay if it is not allowed to challenging the sitting Liberal Democrat MP? If the Tories don’t fight every seat, the United Kingdom Independence Party or a new right-of-centre party could use the abandoned territory as launch pads for local, European and other elections."

However, the issue may arise much sooner than the proposed election in 2015.  Mark Wallace argues that while focus will be on the AV referendum the locals could be the real source of misery for the Liberal Democrats (particularly in Scotland and Wales). 

In the polls, the Lib Dems seem to be having a rough time, the small partner in a coalition often finds it difficult to maintain an identity, but it is likely anti-government sentiment will be high next year as the cuts start to bite and tax rises kick in.  So while the Conservative poll performance is good at the moment, an election next year may not be so attractive.  Some are already plotting AV's downfall on that basis.

This begs the question, is the non-aggression pact needed sooner rather than later to maintain the Coalition in government through what should be its likeliest roughest period (year 2 and 3)?

PS Locally, those who believe in voluntary coalition should be watching and learning about the dynamics of such a coalition.

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