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any other LD supporters horrified at the idea of the Lib Dems propping up a Tory government?

99 replies

geekgirl · 26/04/2010 09:09

What's with all this talk by Nick Clegg about siding with the Tories if they happen to get the most seats?
Surely that really would result in gridlock, plus do Lib Dem supporters feel happy about helping Cameron become PM?! I know I don't...

OP posts:
said · 26/04/2010 09:14

Yes. I'm not a Lib Dem as such but have to vote for them as live in a Con/Lib Dem marginal. I think I need to research further as to whether I should vote Labour to increase their share of the vote. Aargh!

longfingernails · 26/04/2010 09:22

It's absolutely obvious that the LDs will prop up the Tories, not Labour.

Clegg is a pro-Europe Tory in all but name (though people like Vince Cable are more Labour leaning). He basically believes exactly the same sort of things as Ken Clarke or Chris Patten.

The only way that they will form an alliance with Labour is if Clegg is PM and Labour the junior partner - possible, I suppose, but very unlikely.

throckenholt · 26/04/2010 09:28

there is a bigger agenda than temporarily propping up a minority government. It is all about enabling a step change in the way voters are represented. We are not a two party state and haven't been for a long time - it is time we grew up and learned to cooperate for the greater good.

If that means working with Cameron, or Brown, or the SNP or whoever, then that is what is needed.

We need politicians who have the good of the country as their main objective - and that should mean working with the majority to get through the most important issues - and if they can't do that because their egos get in the way then we are voting in the wrong people to run the country.

PinkFuschia · 26/04/2010 09:32

Yes, it's a tough one. I think what NC was trying to get across is that it would not be right to support a party which came third in the election(in terms of % of the vote.) With the polls as they stand, this looks like it will be Labour at the moment. In fairness he's always said this, and it would be kind of hypocritical to bang on about parliamentary democracy and then to support the party that came third.

However the big issue for the LibDems is the reform of the voting system, and the LibDems won't give their support to a party which doesn't give them some guarantee of support for a change in the voting system, so it's not a done deal as far as I can see, because I don't think the Tories will give in on this, as they would struggle to get a majority under some form of PR voting.

Said FWIW in your situation in a Con/LD marginal I would vote LibDem because what we don't want is a load of Tory gains from the LDs or Labour which would give the Tories an outright majority. (Although in the interests of full disclosure I should point out that I always vote LD - even though my constituency is true blue!)

BeenBeta · 26/04/2010 09:39

As a solid Tory voter I obviously still hope the Conservatives win with a sensible overall majority.

I really think there is a chance the opinion polls are not reflectng what is really happening on the ground. My view is that the Lib Dems are mainly winning votes from Labour and so will damage the Labour majority in Lib Dem - Labour marginals but not win much in Lib Dem - Tory marginals. The upshot could be a huge Tory majority by default as Lib Dem and Labour scrap for second place.

However, if there was a hung Parliament I think I could live with a Lib Dem - Conservative coalition. Many of the policies are very close on things like civil liberties. Some Lib Dem tax proposals are also good. The Lib Dem policy on the EU I cannot live with but both Cameron and Clegg have suggested they may be willing to hold a referendum and that may be a good way to resolve that.

I do think that if the Lib Dems were to prop up a discredited Labour Govt who may only get 25% of the popular vote they would lose all credibility. If they are going to form a coalition Govt it has to be with the other party that gets the largest number of seats and that looks like being the Conservative party.

I read yesterday that the Conservative strategy in case of a hung Parliament wlll be to leave Clegg make the decision whether he chooses to support the Conservatives rather than trying to negotate with him and making concessions. I believe he will in the end have no choice but to support the Conservatives.

longfingernails · 26/04/2010 09:44


Given that the Tories seem unable to form a majority under first-past-the-post, I suspect they will drop their commitment to it quite quickly.

Remember that whilst FPTP punishes the Lib Dems most of all, it also punishes the Tories. They need more votes to get an MP than Labour because Labour's vote is more efficiently distributed.

I am sure that if some form of electoral reform were inevitable, they would like it to be a form which benefitted them, rather than Labour.

The Tories are nothing if not a pragmatic party. Disraeli's version of the Reform Bill in 1867 is the classic historical example.

ajandjjmum · 26/04/2010 09:47

I feel rather ashamed that it is only in the course of this election that I have realised how dramatically the vote numbers are out of sync with the seats gained.

It can't be right that with 28% of the votes, labour get 280ish seats, whilst the Torys get 260ish seats with 34% of the vote and LD's 100ish seats with 31% of the vote.

It's not really about who you support, but just what's fair!

Slightly off topic - sorry - I just really think it's important.

longfingernails · 26/04/2010 09:50

Whilst I too would prefer a Tory majority, I think a Tory-LD alliance could work quite well provided the Lib Dems got rid of some of their more Labour-leaning people.

The trouble is that whilst the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party has lots of "Orange Bookers" (basically libertarian Tories in all-but-name - people like Nick Clegg, David Laws, and the like) the activists of the party absolutely hate the Tories.

The Liberal Democrats are going to have a massive internal fight immediately after the election, whoever wins. They need to decide fast whether they are more pro-Labour or pro-Tory - because they will be forced to decide on May 7th.

TheHeathenOfSuburbia · 26/04/2010 09:52

Put up with Tories for one term for electoral reform, fairer voting in future? I could support that...

What about if Labour 'propped up' a Lib Dem govt?! If the voting % stay as they are... but of course the seats won't reflect that.

Fennel · 26/04/2010 10:44

I'm irritated because I'm an old labour type currently living in a Con/libdem marginal, so I'd just about got my head around the idea of voting libdem for this election. So I think it's a bit cheeky of the libdems to now start talking about labour getting a "low proportion of the popular vote" - they of all people should know that many people are voting tactically, and often in their favour. All the labour and green party members and supporters I know around here are planning to vote libdem, while grumbling.

But I'm rethinking today, having decided that tactical voting makes sense, I don't want that interpreted as a popular vote for the libdems. grrr.

on the other hand it sort of serves the labour party right for not introducing a better voting system....

vesela · 26/04/2010 10:44

Patrick Wintour (the Guardian political editor who's been churning out their stuff on this) is such a Labour stooge. Their main headline today is a complete misrepresentation of what Clegg said in the Andrew Marr interview (video here.

If the Lib Dems have to work with another party after the elections, then that will be the party that's the democratic choice of the electorate. Clegg was pointing out that a party that comes third in vote share can hardly claim to be the democratic choice of the electorate.

The other thing of course is that said party would need to agree to the Lib Dems' four demands, key among which is electoral reform and proportional representation. This issue is going to be the one on which LD members push hardest, not the issue of the actual party being sided with (most LDs dislike them both heartily - I don't think people realise that).

It's difficult to imagine the Conservatives agreeing to electoral reform, but it's up to them. Or Labour.

Then again, the 49% of people who want to vote Lib Dem can just do it, and we won't have this problem

ahundredtimes · 26/04/2010 10:52

Fennel - my dh said exactly the same as you just now re his Labour vote. He said well if it's all this popular vote stuff, then I'm voting Labour.

We live in LD/Con seat.

I'm finding the whole thing a bit confusing, and a bit manipulative.

Tory press said 'vote Clegg, get Brown'

so Clegg says, 'hang on a minute, I couldn't allow him to squat in Number 10 if he comes in third. That's not right.'

Everyone says, 'ooh that means Clegg will support Cameron.'

But I haven't heard him say that.

It's like a phony war at the minute. Surely it's mostly true that nobody knows anything right now?

vesela · 26/04/2010 10:58

ahundredtimes, it's true that the Lib Dem surge effectively breaks the way the swingometers work, so it's difficult to calculate how many seats they'll have (although 38% is seen as the target for largest party, 40% - or is it 41%? for a majority).

Whatever happens, though - if the Lib Dems have to work with Labour, they'll be a force for fiscal responsibility, and if with the Tories, a force against social conservatism.

ahundredtimes · 26/04/2010 11:14

Yes vesela, that's what I said to dh.

What has made me laugh is our Con PPC's whole pitch in all his leaflets has been 'not LD, you need more influence in parliament, nobody will listen to him'

I bet he's kicking himself about that strategy now. . .

atlantis · 26/04/2010 11:43

The LD policy is divide and conquere, they want to get people wavering so they can smugly say that the electorial reform is needed, which it is, just not their way.

They keep saying they want change, then they can hardly prop up a Labour government can they? another 5 years of the same.

Whichever party they choose to back it will be that party that holds most of the cards, so the lib dems may get a couple of policies through but that's about it and once clegg realises he isn't going to be in a real position of power the in fighting will start.

It's more reasonable to assume that the LD's will go with the conservatives as they vote with them against Labour most often.

Another election is 12 months anyone?

sfxmum · 26/04/2010 11:48

Not really,rather have that an outright Tory majority
and I am basically Labour but cannot contemplate this Labour for one more term they have no conviction, no principles

mrsbaldwin · 26/04/2010 12:20

One possible two election scenario is first election under FPTP then second under a new system (altho need a geek to advise on how long to get an electoral reform bill through P'ment).

Yes quite a lot of Lib Dem activists would find it v hard to stomach an alliance with Cameron, that is definitely true

PinkFuschia · 26/04/2010 13:03

Atlantis - you accept that electoral reform is needed, just not the way the LDs are doing it. I'd be interested to know how you think electoral reform can be achieved.

I've just had a play with the BBC's Election seat calculator.

Currently in the poll of polls the
Tories are at 35% which would give them 276 seats
LD at 29% get 86 seats
Labour at 28% get 259 seats
Other at 8% get 29 seats

Is there anyone out there who really thinks this is a fair and representative system of voting?

ajandjjmum · 26/04/2010 13:06

Completely agree Pink Fuschia - putting politics to one side - it's simply unfair.

ESPACE · 26/04/2010 13:11

Or did Clegg mean that he wouldn't support Brown as prime minister if Labour came third in the public vote? So would he rule out supporting another Labour Prime Minister - someone like David Milliband. I don't think he has made that clear

atlantis · 26/04/2010 13:14

"Atlantis - you accept that electoral reform is needed, just not the way the LDs are doing it. I'd be interested to know how you think electoral reform can be achieved."

Tbh I have no clue, But PR does worry me slightly, in America apparently they dropped PR because too many people who would not normally have gotten in (ie; our equiv of the BNP ) were gaining seats, as that stands it's quite scarey, right now we can keep the bnp out but if every vote counts towards seats then surely they would get seats overall?

Someone please correct me if I am wrong?

BeenBeta · 26/04/2010 13:19

Lib Dems would benefit most under a single transferable vote system as every one would put them down as a second vote.

A simple PR system might lead rapidly to a two party system with Lib Dem plus the rump of Labour and Greens joining forces as the left wing party and Conservatives on the right with UKIP. Problem is that we might get a lot of marginal parties winning one seat so there would have to be a minimum percentage vote system so any party that got less than 10% of teh national would not get a seat at all.

said · 26/04/2010 13:22

Completely agree with Fennel. Am in exactly the same situation. The Lab vote here is less than 2000 but that is clearly not representative. It is people voting Lib Dem tactically and Clegg has pissed me off with this.

atlantis · 26/04/2010 13:22

"Problem is that we might get a lot of marginal parties winning one seat so there would have to be a minimum percentage vote system so any party that got less than 10% of teh national would not get a seat at all."

Then that's not really PR is it?

It would have to be a true reflection on how people vote so every vote matters.

Madsometimes · 26/04/2010 13:30

I also think we need a more proportional electoral system. Yes, I know that PR will result in the BNP being in Parliament, but that is a price worth paying for fairness, much as I find their policies appalling.

I do not support total PR, and I like having a constituency MP, but I think we need a proper debate about electoral reform.

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