How a third runway at Heathrow could make for a real Old Etonian mess for Cameron

How a third runway at Heathrow could make for a real Old Etonian mess for Cameron

David Cameron in 2013 reaffirming his 2009 pledge that “The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts.”

It might be a novel experience for the Tory Party to be split on issue other than than EU, but the third runway at Heathrow has the potential to be just as problematic. Today the Davies report has backed building a third runway at Heathrow. The above video shows Cameron in 2013 reaffirming a 2009 pledge not to build a third runway at Heathrow. Boris Johnson is also very unhappy over the proposals, whilst Zac Goldsmith, the favourite to be the next Mayor of London has said he will trigger a by-election if the third runway were to be built.

However, the Davies report makes a very strong economic case for a third runway, such as 70,000 new jobs and £147 billion in economic growth by 2050. Given the way the Tories won the election in May, down to voters seeing them as best to run the economy, turning down a third runway might damage that credibility on the economy. I’m sure Nick Clegg will tell Cameron that there is no electoral downside if you do a u-turn on a pre-election promise.

Were Zac to trigger a by election, he might run for London Mayor as an independent, with a focus on opposition to the third runway, the Mayor of London is elected under the supplementary vote, so Zac could be theoretically very transfer friendly particularly if he stands as the anti third runway candidate.

Right now, 16/1 on any other candidate other than Lab, Con or LD, to win the London Mayoral election next year could be the way to go. The government’s final decision on the Davies report will be this year, my own hunch is that Cameron will do what is best for economy/country rather than stick to his original pledge, so that means a third runway.


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