Cameron’s GE2015 gamble – a CON majority or bust
The big GE2015 development overnight is the Telegraph story that the Tories are planning to go into the election with a manifesto commitment not to enter a coalition deal.
If the party won most seats but fell short of the threshold of 326 MPs it would seek to govern on its own as a minority. Clearly everything depends on the numbers but it’s hard to see a minority CON government winning the post Queen’s Speech vote which would lead to it falling.
Such a course would almost certainly rule out the possiblity of the Lib Dems providing support on a confidence and supply basis.
The Tory gamble is that by making the commitment beforehand the choice would be very clear – a CON majority or Ed Miliband with a LAB majority or in cooperation with the LDs.
This move really reflects the current situation within the party. Even if the numbers post GE2015 made another CON-LD coalition possible then it is hard to see the blue team being able to negotiate something that would be acceptable to the party’s MPs.
The big question is whether the “us or nothing” approach would make the CON proposition more or less attractive to voters. A lot depends on how the other parties are able to portray it.
The move could be presented as being petulant or silly – the Tories being the party that regards no loaf as being better than half a loaf.
Where I seriously question the CON strategy is that the blues would be creating the conditions that could boost ANTI-CON tactical voting, something that could be decisive in both the LAB-CON and LD-CON marginals.
A lot of blue hopes in the party’s LD targets have been based on LAB voters who previously supported the yellows going back to their allegiance. This development, I’d suggest, would make the LD task in these seats a bit easier.
Whatever this will make the coming battle even more interesting.