LibLink … James Graham: Lib-Con pact, or just a Marr moment?

Rather belatedly* The Voice is delighted to highlight an article by Lib Dem blogger James Graham over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free site, the subtitle of which is a neat, Tweet paraphrase of his argument: ‘The idea that the Lib Dems want to jump into bed with Cameron is a fantasy. But multiparty politics is likely to be the new norm’. But as ever with James the article is well worth reading in full. Here’s an excerpt:

There is no enthusiasm within the party for co-operation with the Conservative party, but working with Labour is almost as unenticing a prospect. To be seen propping up a government which has just lost the election after 13 years of office would cost the Lib Dems almost all their political capital. …

This dilemma is likely to stay with us, whether we change the electoral system or not. Back in 1951, 97% of voters supported one of the big two parties on an 87% turnout. In 2005 those figures were 68% and 61% respectively. In Canada, which also uses first past the post, hung parliaments are now the norm and the SNP’s stated electoral strategy is to end up with the same linchpin role that Bloc Québécois has there. Even the Greens have a shot at making a breakthrough in 2010. This is a trend which has been speeding up in recent years: multiparty politics is here to stay.

You can read James’s article in full here.

* In fairness to The Voice it took James himself 24 hours to upload it to his blog, whence we were alerted to the article’s existence.

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One Comment

  • James is right about the long-term trend, but a Tory majority is more likely this time. Only voting Labour in (non-Lib Dem held) seats Tory target seats which have current majorities of more than 10% will prevent this, ie seats No. 90+ on the Tory target list.

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