Posts Tagged

Liberal Democrats

Tomorrow the voters of Eastleigh go to the polls to select a new MP following the resignation of Chris Huhne. The eyes of observers of British politics are keenly trained on the outcome of the by-election because it might give us some early clues to some serious questions about the next election: How are voters going to respond when faced with two incumbent government parties? Is Liberal Democrat support going to evaporate? What is the effect of UKIP going to be?

On the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme this week, former Defence Secretary and darling of the Tory Right, Liam Fox, suggested that ‘it is a game for academics’ to discern as to whether a Cameron Government policy (i.e. without Liberal Democrat restraint) would be that different from a Coalition Government policy. I reckon it’s not just an ‘academic game’, but nevertheless I’ll give it a go. The central contention here is that a Tory majority Cameron Government would, mutatis mutandis, be no different to today’s Coalition Government in terms of ideology, public policy and behaviour. Some academics agree. Tim Bale and Robin Kolodny observed recently that Britain has a ‘Coalition government but one that, to all intents and purposes, looks, sounds and …