But what if Dave or Nick were to step aside?
David Laws, the Lib Dem cabinet minister who had to resign after serving less than a month, has an interesting piece in the Telegraph in which he predicts that the coalition will continue through to a 2015 general election. He concludes:-
“..Many predicted there would be a rhythm to this Parliament â€“ unity in the beginning, differentiation in the middle, and divergence at the end. Over the past six months, the process of differentiation and divergence has accelerated, and perhaps rather run ahead of itself. In the past week, I suspect that both party leaders, and most Lib Dem and Conservative MPs, have looked over the post-Coalition cliff. On the whole, I do not think they like what they see.
The Coalition has provided Britain with a stable anchorage in the global economic storm. It has given the country one of its boldest-ever programmes of public service reform. The Prime Minister and his Deputy created this Coalition, and they will be judged by its success. Both parties now have the responsibility to ensure that the next two and a half years are not some loveless and unproductive marriage, but a creative partnership which addresses the real concerns and priorities of the mainstream majority of British people.”
All fine words but very much tied up with the personal relationship between Dave and Nick. If one of those was to go then things would look very different.
Cameron is, as we saw last week, out of line in many respects with many of his MPs and I wonder whether he could be in danger if the view took hold that a 2015 election victory was beyond the party’s reach?
Clegg has his own challenges but in one respect he’s in a stronger position with his own party than Cameron is with the Tories. When the deal was struck in May 2010 Clegg was careful to ensure this was a decision of his party as a whole and not just him. All the key players have blood on their hands – not just the leader.
Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB