Lib Dem members favour future Labour deal over pact with Tories – are we ready for a Lab/Lib coalition?
A poll by Lib Dem Voice has found that Lib Dem members favour a post 2015 deal with Labour to one with the Tories by 48% to 19% in the event of a hung parliament. The full poll and the breakdown of the votes can be found here.
So the Lib Dems would be keen to be in coalition with Labour? That’s not hugely surprising. The Lib Dems can read the polls as well as you or I can, they’re not getting a great deal from the Tories, and much of the membership is to the left of where Clegg and his cronies in government are.
However the party which needs persuading in 2015 won’t be the Lib Dems – it will be Labour. A huge proportion of the Labour Party is angry with the Lib Dems, either because they disliked them in the first place and the coalition has confirmed their views, or because they thought better of them and their “partnership” with the Tories has let them down.
I can understand both points of view, having fought against some fairly unpleasant Lib Dem campaigns but also having worked with Lib Dems who I liked and trusted in the past. There’s no way I could ever trust Nick Clegg – or the vast majority of the Lib Dem parliamentary party. But in just 3 years we might be forced too.
Although we all hope for a majority Labour government – and the probable end of boundary changes makes that more likely – we need to think seriously about how a Lab/Lib coalition might work, so that if negotiations start in 2015, we’re better prepared this time. Because as any (sensible) Tory will tell you – being in power in a coalition is better than being in opposition, even if some on the Tory Right seem to (bizarrely) think the opposite…