Friday, 11 March 2011


Do you remember last year there was a suggestion that at the next election the coalition might formalize its relationship (which is working so well after all); that the Lib Dems might not put up candidates against the Tories where the Tories were in second place and the Tories would do likewise.

The idea was of course that the Lib Dem candidate would hoover up the Tory votes and thus overtake their SNP or Labour rivals (or in England possibly UKIP) and that the Tories would do the same. Like a lot of the coalition it sounds great on paper, but as Nick Clegg and his party are finding it does not transfer so easily into practice .

Well the whole thing was roundly poo-pooed by the great and good in both parties. Cleggums and “Call me” were apparently horrified at the idea. After all we assumed that the Lib Dems would simply be subsumed by the larger party and wouldn’t that be bad for democracy as in it would reduce even further the limited choicer offered to British voters?

But it now seems that Tory and Lib Dem MPs will be able to stand as joint Coalition candidates at the next election under plans sneakily put in motion this week.

Ministers are to change the law to allow candidates standing for two parties at the same time to put a joint emblem on the ballot paper. This opens the way for an electoral pact between the Coalition partners at the next election.
It opens the door to Tory and Lib Dems agreeing local peace pacts with one candidate representing them both, perhaps under a logo combining the lesser-spotted yellow-bellied Liberal Democrat bird squatting in the English Oak of the Tories.

At the moment, a candidate standing for more than one party cannot put either party’s logo on the ballot paper, an anomaly that discriminates against coalition pacts.

Earlier this week the Government quietly pushed through a change in the law which allows those who stand for mayor or in local council elections to use a Coalition logo. Constitutional Affairs Minister Mark Harper wants the same rules for the general election.

So now Mr Harper has revealed that he will introduce primary legislation in the Commons to push through the same rules for the general elections. You guessed it, in in time for the next UK-wide poll in 2015.

Of course allowing them to field one candidate on a coalition ticket is one thing but actually getting people to vote for them is another. Do they really think the grass roots of each party are going to be happy to vote for a candidate hitherto opposed to them? So is this that hackneyed phrase trotted out so much of late, "a U-turn", it sure seems like it to me!

Get ready for coalition candidates coming to a polling station near you.

I have no objection at all to them having a formal coalition candidate on the polling slip and indeed think it will be to the benefit of the SNP, as they will get disgruntled voters from both sides. What I object to is the way they seem to think we are all so stupid that we wont remember that six months ago they were saying this was a totally outrageous notion, but now they are sneakily laying the groundwork for actually making it happen.

Do they thing we all, man, woman and child, zip up the back to treat us with such cavalier contempt? They have supposedly five years, so why don’t they wait for a decent amount of time before completely reversing course?


  1. This is complete and utter nonsense. The only people who benefit from these wild speculations are Tories, as I wrote a few weeks ago.

    A Tory/Lib Dem electoral pact will not happen - I am 100% sure, and the words over my dead body also apply.

    The reason for this change is mainly to allow people to stand for example on Labour/Co-operative joint tickets. Those two parties are still separate entities and it was a bit daft that that was not recognised until now.

  2. tris

    Caron confirms the truth of your post by the mere act of denying(lying scum springs to mind)

    anyway some or probably many MPs will wish to stress their independence from the Conservatives and the Lib Dem collaborators realising to do otherwise will be the kiss of death to there election hopes.

    Cameron the Old Etonian and Cleggy his loyal cringeworthy if somewhat self abusing Fag! will say and do anything to remain in power.

    With Caron eyes closed and fingers in the ear cheer from the sidelines....

    Unfortunately for both the omens are looking more like electoral toast in the coming future.
    their slimy self serving duplicitous behavior has led to The Labour party heading back into power faster than what could of been hoped for.

  3. Caron: I’m not quite sure why the coalition has to waste parliamentary time formalising the position of a party which has existed now for well over a hundred years, one all of whose elected members are also members of the Labour Party. In addition none of the 29 Co-op MPs (if you want to call them that) would have been elected solely on a co-op ticket as most people have never even heard of the party. So your supposition that the coalition is generously formalising a relationship of a faction of its main opponents merely for their convenience and with no ulterior Coalition motive in mind is frankly ridiculous. That to my, and I’m assuming most other peoples’, minds is the wafer thin excuse that is being trotted out. That in itself is yet another insult to our collective intelligence.

  4. Mr M: "faster than could have been hoped for"... what five years?

    I’m sure also that the ulterior motive for this change is to allow Coalition candidates to stand as well and has nothing to do with that preposterous smoke and mirrors nonsense about the Co-op party.

  5. Fwiw I agree with you, Munguin. I posted about this sneaky change to the law this morning but you've gone into greater detail. Another aspect is that this move opens the way for a split in the LibDems - left to Labour and right to the Cons. Anything could happen in five years.

  6. I feel like any honest Lib Dems voter totally F*ck*d.

  7. Having read what Caron has to say on this. I find it incredible that Lib Dems can be so credulous. Maybe it’s not us that zip up the back but them. Apparently its all the Tories doing this idea of a formal coalition ticket on the ballot come 2015 because it hurts the Lib Dems. Well that’s sure true, but I think that has a lot more to do with the feeling that the Lib Dems have stabbed their support in the back by jumping into bed with the Tories and the road to Damascus sea change in their policies to keep the coalition ticking over.

    You know: drastic cuts that were not nearly so drastic before the Tories came along and insisted; no free education [in England] despite pledge; much more limited improvement in lower tax banding from 10K to 7K staggered over the life of the parliament [i.e. jam tomorrow]; AV reform fig leaf despite Jenkins Commission and Nick Clegg saying STV was minimum they would accept; elected House of Lords fudge; back pedalling on nuclear weapons and power stations; etc, etc.

    I think they have already done more damage to their own support than any Tory scaremongering ever could and that is backed up by their persistent collapse in the polls to around 10% in England and about 7% in Scotland and Wales. Nick Clegg says he is playing the long game and things will improve and the party’s activists should hold on. Well 20% of your parliament has already passed and things seem to be getting worse for the Lib Dems as is evidenced by their disastrous result in Barnsley where they dropped to 6th with only 4% of the vote and lost their deposit. Much, much worse than in Oldham where Elwyn Watkins at least managed to hold on to his 31% of the vote. In the latter case Caron’s notion that these Tory tactics hurt the Lib Dems is clearly not the case as it was the Tory vote that suffered dropping back 13% despite putting up the same candidate (Kashif Ali) as in the GE. Nick’s long strategy has a good chance of backfiring as his erstwhile support drifts away and gets comfortable in the arms of other parties. Maybe they are waiting to see what happens in 2012 hoping that this year will be the real bad one and that the Tories will take the blame for all the bad things (the way the Lib Dems used to when they were in coalition with Labour in Scotland taking the credit for the good things and letting labour take the flak for the bad) but that does not seem to be happening does it? Instead the Libs seem to be getting more blame than the Tories. I can’t help thinking there are so many holes in Nick’s strategy that it may not be worth the candle in the end. Lets see what kind of walloping they get in the Scottish and Welsh General Elections and how many English local councils they hold on to!

  8. Goodnight: yea a Lib Dem split could always be a possibility but it would be a shame to lose a third party as that would restrict choice, especially in England where you don’t have a Plaid Cumry or an SNP to plump for as a non-basket case option.

    I would also point out that it is not five years but four years and two months. I suspect that we will have movement on it before then anyway, if they leave it that long people will have forgotten who the Lib Dems are. As I say let’s wait and see how they do in the coming elections in May and in their AV referendum. A bad result in the Scottish and Welsh GEs and the local English elections and you will probably begin to see deeper cracks as Lib Dems start to fret about their seats on the gravy train. Whatever happens in the AV referendum and it will cause problems for the coalition as the Lib Dems want a “yes” to shore up their credibility while the Tories want a “no” to keep their grass roots and large voluble awkward squad in line.

    Despite Caron’s contrary opinion I see this allowance of coalition tickets as laying the ground work for the possibility of a Lib Dem/Tory coalition stance where appropriate come 2015. The Co-op part ruse is just that. No other party allows its members to join another political party and that tells you all you need to know about the so called independence of the Co-operative Party, it’s a Labour pressure group pure and simple and the notion that the Tory Lib Dem alliance would legislate to formalise its position is so patently ridiculous that it stretches credulity to fantastic shapes.

  9. Cynical: just one among many I suspect!

  10. The MP from Barnsley was on radio this morning saying that the first two people he met in the Commons were two senior Tories who congratulated him warmly on his obliteration of the Liberals... and that he has met several since who have said exactly the same thing.

    I don't think the Tories like the Liberals very much.

  11. Tris: maybe Caron has a point after all! A marriage made in heaven! And from what Saint Vince and Mick Moore had to say at their surgeries the feeling seems to be mutual.

    All the worse then that Nick Clegg keeps his party in his shoddy little deal with the Tories when it is clear that his supporters don't like it, those that voted for him don't like it, his cabinet collegues don't like it and it seems that the Tories don't like it either. The only people who do like it are Nick Clegg and David Cameron; thats new politics for you!

  12. Councillor Alex Gallagher

    Ward: Ward 8 - North Coast and Cumbraes
    Political Party: Scottish Labour
    Address: c/o Members Services
    North Ayrshire Council
    3rd Floor, Cunninghame House
    KA12 8EE

    Office Tel: 01294 324172

    Mobile Tel: 07920 586 555

    Don't vote for this man.

    Tom Marshall, Largs

  13. I read Councillor Alex Gallagher was the author of Brave heart blog. Totally obnoxious individual.

  14. Munguin..
    " a Lib Dem split could always be a possibility but it would be a shame to lose a third party as that would restrict choice"

    there's no choice. Vote Lib / Lab / con and you get the same.. useless MP's, EU, mass immigration useless windmills, cronyism, troughing, ignorance, corruption, sex scandals, greed, hypocrisy, etc...

  15. Erm, thanks for that advice Anon 1

  16. Uhhhh Anon 2... who might or might not be the same as Anon 1.

    I see they have had a falling out with him over at the Universality of Cheese, but Mark in his inimitable style told him to.... well, go away.

    He is a bit of a stalker isn't he....?

  17. How did it go "You can con some of the people some of the time" but if your a LibDem you can be conned all of the time and lap it up. suckers.

  18. They are playing the L O N G game...

    Or so they say. I'm inclined to think it was a Chinese that told them that...

  19. Tris.

    Sorry for my random visits lol but back in Scotland now and more settled.

    I think the Tory/Lib's party would be daft to go down this road. One the voters wont fall for it and 2nd, the Lib Dems would lose their identity being the much smaller subject.

    I don't think this idea would work in Scotland for the simple reason that even a combined Tory/Lib vote would be around 16% according to the last 6 opinion polls.

  20. Ah the Braveheart entity lol. I saw his ramblings on Mark's blog.

    Councillor Alex Gallagher is it? lol. To think we actually pay our taxes towards buffoons like him. Had to be Labour.

  21. I must echo Caron's sentiments here. There is no scope for alliance and cooperation between the political parties when it comes to the next GE. We are proudly placing national interest ahead of party interests currently. But our policies shall create the engine of growth that shall enable us to stand separately.

    Why should Tories and LibDems seek to continue, when we shall have saved the UK from Labour incompetence by then?

    I want to vote for a good old fashioned, no nonsense Tory. Not some limp, LibDem bleeding heart liberal. I don't, and I won't.

    I rather think the Party leaders on both sides realise this fact. Besides, the destruction of the LibDems may serve to help bring Britain back to the good old days of two-Party rule.

  22. As for UKIPer, does he not realise that UKIP are a racist Party?

    I rather think I shan't be taking lessons about morality, and national interest from him.

    Him and his medieval concept of national sovereignty.

  23. Tris, heaven forfend that I would not be a welcoming host to Councillor Gallagher. I laid on a comfy seat, some tartan slippers, a small glass of liquid joy and allowed him every opportunity to dissuade us followers of Independence from the error of our ways. 88 comments later, many which were the blogging equivalent of Zeno's paradox of motion, he finally sealed the deal by disagreeing with Mr Gray and his flippity flip flop flipping on the council tax. It will be hugely interesting to see how Cllr Gallagher votes for a council tax freeze post May, if Labour do manage to lie and wheedle their way back into the ministerial mondeos.

    Incidentally, my stat counter visitor path confirms the person labeled as 'Braveheart' indeed posts from both Largs and Irvine...Further confirmation of the poor face painted loons identity comes from the unfortunate incidence of clumsy Cllr Gallagher replicating his blog post on the recent polls on Newsnet, yesterday under his own name, complete with his personal email address...Ooops.

  24. Allan: I don’t think it would work for Scotland (or indeed at all) but when have the party’s forming the Westminster executive ever given a dam about Scotland? Other than some wafer thin shallow rhetoric about a respect agenda, none at all really.

    If they want to make a coalition ballot ticket their suicide note let them. I’m not saying they will, but clearly they are opening the way to if they want despite all of last years bluff and bluster to the contrary.

  25. Dean: a good old fashioned no nonsense Tory. They are pretty thin on the ground at the moment though! Was it not you that said that David Cameron and his ilk were not old fashioned Tories like Harold MacMillan and Ted Heath? Don’t tell me you have a hot line to Millbank Tower (whats left of it) and they are going to sort out a good old fashioned Tory just for you?

  26. Yes well we have had the pleasure of “Braveheart” here on a few occasions. Generally his MO seems to be a great long diatribe using unsubstantiated invective and when requested for a steer in the right direction (i.e. a link to someone else who was saying these things not just him) he was unable to oblige. It was, therefore, necessary to inform him that we would not be simply accepting his word for it and if he was unable or unwilling to supply substantiation we would not be continuing to discuss it. Latterly he attempted to upbraid me on my comments policy and give not so helpful suggestions on who should be allowed to comment and who should not. I pointed out that if he was unhappy with the situation as it was he was at liberty not to read this blog or comment on it. He seems to have accepted that friendly advice.

  27. Munguin.

    I think it would be suicidal if they went down that path particularly for the Libs. Vote Tory get Clegg, vote Lib get Cameron..It could be a vote winner you know! Vote Goldie get Scott? Nah!

  28. Cllr Gallagher is hilarious.He's clearly potty but also very naughty.

  29. Hey Allan: I missed you again. WB.

    No it won't work anywhere. All that will happen if they try it is that the Liberals will cease to exist.

    If you stand on a coalition ticket and the Tories win outright, where does that leave you (as well as looking like a right muppet)?

  30. Tris.

    Good point, if the Tories do win outright then Clegg and his dwindling band of MP's would be dropped in a second. Looking back I think the Libs would had been better to agree to vote with the Tories on an issue by issue basis. I think Cameron would had done anything to get into power and Clegg wanted the same.

    Did you watch PMQ's? Pure class, when Cameron was asked about the AV referendum he denounced it and you could see Clegg shaking his head.Ouch!

  31. Good one Mark, and welcome to Munguin’s Republic

    Reductio ad absurdum?

    The comparison is apposite. In fairness it must be as difficult for Mr G to understand Gray’s policies, as it is for me to get to grips with the logic of Achilles and the Tortoise.

    You certainly couldn’t describe any of them as motionless; zigzagging and flip-flopping as they do with increasing regularity, speed and each appearance of Ed Balls the Bruiser. Come to think of it, was there not some calculus formula that Zeno came up with for calculating rate of change... and could that be applied to Mr Gray’s re-election strategy?

    It will be interesting to see how the gray one’s supporters who have been nodding their heads to one of this “ideas”, will take to nodding their heads to the exact opposite.

  32. Yes Allan; they were both very hungry for power, and I don't think there's much they wouldn't have done to get it. But the new Labour MP from Barnsley was congratulated by Tory back benchers for beating the Liberal into 6th place (although I fear it was less the new member than his party leader that did that). So I think it is only the party leaders and those close to them that are fond of this arrangement.

    I didn't watch PMQs. I can't stand to see them or hear their voices at the moment, but that must have been hilarious... Ha ha ha.

    Apart from Iain Gray and his hapless team of dipsticks, have you ever seen such a lacklustre lot as the present government and opposition.

    I did watch very briefly this afternoon as Cameron made a statement on Japan and Libya, and Miliband answered. I was looking along the two front benches thinking that there’s not one of them worth a jot.

  33. As for Cllr Gallagher, as Munguin said, we did have him on here, but despite trying to be reasonable and argue the points with him, he seemed incapable of taking in what we were saying. All his posts were sharp and sneering in tone, and not the way we are used to on MR, and he took over. Suddenly, he was posting and posting and posting.

    I’m sure he put the gentle souls who post here right off their stride... so as Munguin said, he gently suggested that Braveheart might like to go elsewhere.

  34. Tris.

    I have to admit I did have some high hopes for Cameron just after the election but the dithering over Libya and the bankers getting off scott free have me thinking otherwise. As for team ED LOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOL, COO-KOO. He is only ahead in the polls by virtue of default.

  35. From Guido.

    Lone protestor’s placard outside LibDem conference…

    “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for oblivion.”

  36. Tris.

    I don't blame you and Munguin for telling Councillor Alex Gallagher of Braveheart blog to pack his bags. Debate is healthy and as you know, I often disagree with you and Munguin but when d debate becomes insults and outright rudeness then the person is not worth the time and effort. He is the sort of typical all crabbit Labour type who thinks he is always right.

    Absolutely repulsive individual.

  37. cynicalHighlander

    LOL. Well the polls sugest so;

  38. Ha ha ... CH.... I fully expect that (but in fairness I am nearly always wrong about these things... strange talent!)

  39. Allan,

    Spot on mate. It is healthy to disagree, but it always should be done with respect for other people's viewpoints. We have a wide range on this blog, and some I disagree with profoundly, but it makes it interesting. Would be dull if we only ever said... yes, your right....

  40. Allan is right about that, diversity of opinion is what makes us all come back here day in day out -but we do not need cretinous little who never think a new thought, never say a new thing.

    I call such Party hacks "cut and paste"ers - after all when formulating their own views, they simply cut the party website and paste it into their 'opinions' section of the (alleged) brain.

  41. Tris - "It will be interesting to see how the gray one’s supporters who have been nodding their heads to one of this “ideas”, will take to nodding their heads to the exact opposite."

    Here is one clown, Councillor Terry Kelly, trying to do that here in the following comments Tris:

    In the past I thought that Councillor Terry Kelly and Alex Gallagher were one and the same person. Maybe the Labour party churns these people out somewhere all programmed with the same (lack of) intelligence and the same drivel to spout.

  42. Spot on Dean. :)

    I wondered why you guys kept coming back.... :¬)))

  43. Aye Billy, I've had the odd run in with that idiot, but he's not worth the repetitive strain injury you get from typing.

    He's exactly what Dean was talking about thre...a cut and paster....Well, then he's a twat as well!