The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Cameron is new PM

Posted by That Other Mike on 11/05/2010

David Cameron has been asked to form a government. He also stated that he would attempt to form a formal coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, although this is contingent upon the agreement of the LibDem party apparatus rather than simply Nick Clegg’s say-so.

Assuming the deal goes ahead, I expect to see Clegg in a moderate-weight Cabinet post, such as the FO or Defence, and possibly bringing Vince Cable or someone of similar stature along in a minor post. We’re also likely to get a referendum on the Alternative Vote system, which troubles me, given that voting law is always a matter of legislation per se and that the Tories will campaign against it; still, AV is a step on the road towards PR, so it’s better than nothing.

This is all assuming that the Tories don’t fail vote at the Queen’s Speech right from the off, of course; this is procedurally equivalent to losing a motion of no confidence, and if they did lose the vote, the constitutional convention is that the government resigns or that Parliament is dissolved. The first option would result in a new government being asked to form, whether a minority Lib-Lab coalition government, or for the Tories to ditch Cameron and try again with someone else. I don’t see it happening, to be honest; Queen’s Speech measures tend to be couched in uncontroversial terms, even if manifesto pledges, and nobody wants to rock the boat too much following the recent drama.

We’ll see what happens; in an ideal world, given the current state of play, I could cope with a minority Tory government led by the One Nation faction and bolstered by the LibDems. My worry is that the Eurosceptic, Thatcherite tendencies of Cameron will come to the fore. As I said, though, we’ll see.

Update: Details of the coalition have been agreed. Surprisingly, Clegg is coming in as Deputy PM, which suggest that the LibDems drove a pretty hard bargain; presumably one of the bargaining chips on the table was the fact that they could sink any minority govt Tory agenda in play if they wanted to be obstructionist.

Four LibDems to go along as well; good show. And even Ken Clarke has made a comeback. Looks like it could be a moderate Tory strain, even allowing for the fact that Cabinets immediately post-election are transitional and often cosmetic exercises.

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