Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he will push on with the proposed boundary changes. This comes despite the announcement yesterday, by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, that the Liberal Democrats would not back the changes citing the Conservative Party’s failure to back Lords Reforms as a breach of the terms of the Coalition.
It can be said, with no doubt, that the boundary changes will fall given that Labour have been against the changes all along, as it will ultimately lose them a considerable number of inner city seats, and with the Liberal Democrats refusing to back the proposals this will mean that the Prime Minister will not have a majority to get the Bill through Parliament. When the time comes however it will generate much public interest in the relationship between the Coalition partners.
The Prime Minister also faces considerable opposition from his back bencher’s, adding to the ‘no’ lobby. I suspect that David Cameron knows this and by letting it fall he will ultimately save face, rather than withdrawing the Bill and facing criticism from within his own party as to who leads the Coalition. The Prime Minister will also save himself from those within the party opposed to the plans, as it may mean a loss of their respective seats.
One question I have had in my mind is how stable is the Coalition?
I suspect that neither Coalition partner wants to face the electorate given recent opinion poll showings, which put Labour in the lead. However I have no doubt that relations are tense and that there will be few smiles and handshakes between Cameron and Clegg in public. Therefore the Coalition will simply limp forward until 2015 in hope that the economy improves. This is however a bit like backing a dodgy horse.
Nevertheless the fear will be that if they continue like this they will face major defeat at the polls come 2015, namely over their handling of the UK economy. The only comfort will be that Labour will face the same criticism for overseeing the period in which serious mistakes were made, especially with regard to poor banking practices.
In order to manage this problem both parties may wish to engage in a battle of ideology, i.e. through what means can we create employment and generate investment? This could stimulate a interesting public debate on the issue, a debate which may be necessary and timely.
The politics of the Union may however alter the make up and balance of Westminster with the Scots set to go to the polls in a referendum over their future within the United Kingdom, in 2014. Either a yes or no vote will generate a debate over the relationship between Westminster and devolved administrations at a time when political relationships within the corridors of power are poor and divided.Share on Facebook