Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Today is the first anniversary of David Cameron becoming Prime Minister and tomorrow is the first anniversary of the Coalition's formation - as I have said before, the first few hours of David Cameron's premiership were as the head of a minority Conservative government as the Liberal Democrats only approved going into the Coalition in the early hours of 12 May.
In any case, today is an important day but the question many political commentators are asking is how long can the Coalition continue?
The election results were bad for the Coalition for an unlikely reason. The Lib Dems did badly, losing MSPs, AMs, thousands of councillors and - of course - the AV referendum. Although this was bad, it was also expected. The real damage came from the Conservatives doing rather well - increasing their number of councillors and winning the AV referendum.
Ironically, it would have been better for the Coalition if both of the governing parties had done badly in the elections as now the Lib Dems feel singled out - acting as the political equivalent of a human shield for the government's unpopular austerity measures.
I think the Liberal Democrats will remain in the Coalition if only because they would be wiped out in the general election which would immediately follow the break-up of the Coalition.
Incidentally, today is the 199th anniversary of Spencer Perceval's assassination (Perceval is the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated). If the Coalition lasts to the 200th anniversary of Perceval's death, I can imagine laboured newspaper headlines linking Little P's sad end to the health of the Coalition.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Tomorrow there will be elections across the UK, but it is the AV referendum which will probably have the greatest effect on the Coalition.
The Conservatives support the No campaign and the Liberal Democrats support the Yes campaign. This means that however the votes goes tomorrow, one of the Coalition parties is going to be very disappointed with the result. This alone perhaps wouldn't be a great problem for the Coalition, but the tone of the campaign over the last few weeks has become increasingly bitter.
I don't think we are about to witness the imminent collapse of the Coalition (although I might be wrong), but I do think the previously convivial relationship between the two parties will change. I expect David Cameron and Nick Clegg will be working hard in the next few days to convince the country and their respective parties of the strength of the government.