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John Drake

Who'd be in Nick Clegg's shoes...

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Parliaments are now fixed at five years, so early elections can no longer be called.

 

Incorrect - with a 2/3 commons majority in favour of an early election, the PM can request the Queen can announce the date of an election. Similarly if there's a vote of no confidence in the government the Queen can announce an election date.

 

It's rumoured that the act about fixed-terms will be amended after the next election to allow the PM to call an election as she/ he sees fit (with the fixed term being a nice convinience for the coalition).

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The irony is that had the Lib Dems stayed out of the coalition then there's a very good chance that they'd be the biggest party according to the polls right now. Despite Cleggmania most still ended up voting for the two biggest parties but now we're in a situation where people are totally disillusioned with the traditional two. Had the Lib Dems not sold out then I'd think they'd be the ones benefitting with many thinking it's time for them to be given a chance especially after Cleggmania.

 

Let's face it for all UKIP have done, aside from immigration and the EU their policies aren't going to appeal to a large section of the population whereas I think the Lib Dems policies do in theory appeal to the traditional Labour voter and potentially the floating voters. The reality is that they blew it in going into coalition. Nobody voting Lib Dem voted for a Tory dominated parliament and this is in effect that they helped to bring about.

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Incorrect - with a 2/3 commons majority in favour of an early election, the PM can request the Queen can announce the date of an election. Similarly if there's a vote of no confidence in the government the Queen can announce an election date.

 

It's rumoured that the act about fixed-terms will be amended after the next election to allow the PM to call an election as she/ he sees fit (with the fixed term being a nice convinience for the coalition).

Apologies if I've got this wrong, but I was responding to the suggestion that Cameron could call a snap election now, which I don't think he could.

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The irony is that had the Lib Dems stayed out of the coalition then there's a very good chance that they'd be the biggest party according to the polls right now. Despite Cleggmania most still ended up voting for the two biggest parties but now we're in a situation where people are totally disillusioned with the traditional two. Had the Lib Dems not sold out then I'd think they'd be the ones benefitting with many thinking it's time for them to be given a chance especially after Cleggmania.

 

Let's face it for all UKIP have done, aside from immigration and the EU their policies aren't going to appeal to a large section of the population whereas I think the Lib Dems policies do in theory appeal to the traditional Labour voter and potentially the floating voters. The reality is that they blew it in going into coalition. Nobody voting Lib Dem voted for a Tory dominated parliament and this is in effect that they helped to bring about.

The LDs did very well in 2010 in terms of votes, they just couldn't turn those into seats as prolifically as Labour can because of the election system we choose to have.

 

You're right about their vote being obliterated by going into government, but how would the electorate have reacted to them choosing to stay on the sidelines? I'm not asking rhetorically - I genuinely don't know! What's the point of being in politics if you pass up the chance to actually do something and I think the electorate would have been most unimpressed.

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The LDs did very well in 2010 in terms of votes, they just couldn't turn those into seats as prolifically as Labour can because of the election system we choose to have.

 

You're right about their vote being obliterated by going into government, but how would the electorate have reacted to them choosing to stay on the sidelines? I'm not asking rhetorically - I genuinely don't know! What's the point of being in politics if you pass up the chance to actually do something and I think the electorate would have been most unimpressed.

 

They didn't do that well in terms of votes. The polls after the debates had it very close between the 3 parties, with 1 or 2 even having them in the lead. In the end they ended up with just 23% of the vote, representing only a 1% rise from 2005 and 13% lower than the Tories managed.

 

I think they could have certainly rejected the Tories based on ideological grounds. They are after all the opposite of the Tory party; it was and is a strange combination and I don't think people have ever fully accepted their explanation that the coalition is for the sake of Britain. As the polls have showed, most have viewed it as a desperate grasp for some power and most of the people that voted for them will not consider it at the next election.

 

However, if they'd rejected the Tories they'd probably have been expected to try and form a coalition with Labour, so you are right in pointing out that they may have been seen as bottling it. It could also have resulted in a minority government for the Tories and then an inevitable re-election within the year.

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Apologies if I've got this wrong, but I was responding to the suggestion that Cameron could call a snap election now, which I don't think he could.

 

I think that's about the size of it.

 

What I found most interesting about the change in the law about election dates wasn't so much the fixed term stuff, but that the Queen seemed to swap her prerogative to dissolve Parliament, for the power to be the one who called the date of an election (should Parliament not go to the full fixed term).

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They didn't do that well in terms of votes. The polls after the debates had it very close between the 3 parties, with 1 or 2 even having them in the lead. In the end they ended up with just 23% of the vote, representing only a 1% rise from 2005 and 13% lower than the Tories managed.

 

I think they could have certainly rejected the Tories based on ideological grounds. They are after all the opposite of the Tory party; it was and is a strange combination and I don't think people have ever fully accepted their explanation that the coalition is for the sake of Britain. As the polls have showed, most have viewed it as a desperate grasp for some power and most of the people that voted for them will not consider it at the next election.

 

However, if they'd rejected the Tories they'd probably have been expected to try and form a coalition with Labour, so you are right in pointing out that they may have been seen as bottling it. It could also have resulted in a minority government for the Tories and then an inevitable re-election within the year.

But there could have been no minority government without Brown first resigning as PM. If the Lib/Dems had formed a coalition with Labour, Cameron would have had no say at all.  Adonis says that Brown had the Ulster Unionists' backing and the SDLP would, as always have backed Labour. That just leaves Plaid Cymru - and the Scots Nats, both centre left parties.  Clegg clearly didn't want a deal with Labour, even with Labour minus Gordon Brown.  The old "Liberal" wing of the Lib/Dems, the so called "Orange Book" Liberals, Alexander, Clegg, and David Laws are much closer to the Tory line than people realise. Laws has said that it was only the iniquitous "Clause 28" that kept him from joining the Tories initially. The Lib/Dems are IMO an uncomfortable coalition themselves of former Labour people like Kennedy and Cable and Liberals like those I've mentioned.  The main thing they had in common was a belief in PR & the EU. When they were a protest party with no real prospect of power this was ok. But once the excrement hit the air conditioning the cracks in their ranks started to show.  I predict a major split after the next election if they lose badly.

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