SocraticGadfly: I give the UK coalition six more months

December 26, 2010

I give the UK coalition six more months

To speak British-style, the Lib Dems have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories on the massive budget cuts in the service sectors and elsewhere in government.

But, Prime Minister David Cameron has yet to deliver to Nick Clegg on the electoral reform that was the Lib Dems price for joining coalition.

I give Cameron six months to deliver that. Why that long? I'm guessing that if it doesn't come by then, Lib Dems will sack Clegg as party leader. And, any promise he made to Cameron to see through the coalition for the full five years will not be binding on his successor.

Even now, the Guardian notes that support for the coalition, primarily within the Lib Dems but also from Conservatives, is falling sharply:
The latest Guardian/ICM poll finds that after six months of Conservative-LibDem rule just 43% think coalition government was the right decision for Britain while 47% now disagree. In May, in answer to a slightly differently worded question, 59% backed the coalition while 32% disagreed with the decision to form it.

Among LibDem voters, support is 50-50.

Meanwhile, Labour's Ed Miliband waits in the wings:
Asked about the party leaders, only 12% thought Nick Clegg's prospects would improve in 2011, against 47% who think he will have a worse year. For David Cameron, 23% think 2011 will be better and 36% worse. Only Ed Miliband can look forward to a happier new year. While 27% think the coming year will be worse for him than the one before, 29% think it will be better – the only net positive score on all the issues asked in the survey.

And, so, Labour hopes to peel off dissatisfied Lib Dem voters.

At the same time, Lib Dem and Tory ministers in government seem to be having more distance developing. (Speaking to a media roundtable where you as a politician think you're off the record and the media thinks you're not doesn't help!)

No comments: