Henry G Manson on what happens with another hung parliament
Iâ€™m reasonably confident Labour is currently heading for hung parliament territory. Without a significant burst of support Ed Milibandâ€™s Labour seems likely to struggle to achieve an outright majority â€“ particularly given the boundary changes. If Labour were to become the largest party (and by no means is this a given) then it begs the question how would/could Labour work with the Liberal Democrats?
The Labour Party has in many areas fought brutal campaigns with the Yellows, but the relationship with the Lib Dems has never been worse than now. I just cannot envisage any form of coalition materialising with them while Nick Clegg is leader. For Labour members it centres on the perceived lack of trustworthiness and consistency of the Lib Dem leader himself. Above is just one example in a nutshell – as explicit a pledge as you will get from Clegg in 2008 promising to never join a Conservative-led government:
For Labour members it centres on the perceived lack of trustworthiness and consistency of the Lib Dem leader himself. Above is just one example – as explicit a pledge as you will get from Clegg in 2008 promising to never join a Conservative-led government:
It is because of everything that has happened since then that there is such a strong sense of anger from the Reds to the leader of the Yellows. As a result it will make a future Coalition with the Liberal Democrats very difficult to sell to Labour MPs – never mind the grassroots.
I donâ€™t think itâ€™s ever helpful for parties to dictate or demand to other parties who should or shouldnâ€™t be their leader. But if Labour and the Lib Dems are going to get it together in 2015 then itâ€™ll be have to be with a leader on the social liberal wing such as Tim Farron.
Any sense of â€˜equidistanceâ€™ under Clegg is long gone. If Clegg remains under 2015 (perhaps not certain) then I just canâ€™t see a deal between the two parties. Too much water has passed under the bridge. That may or not concern the Liberal Democrats, but it should certainly worry Labour strategists if poll ratings remain the same.
If Labour cannot form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and cannot win an outright majority, then just how does Ed Miliband get to 10 Downing Street?
HenryG Manson @henrygmanson