Cameron hints at a coalition after 2015

Matt Chorley

143595993 1 199x300 Cameron hints at a coalition after 2015The Prime Minister has given an interview to the London Evening Standard, ostensibly to big up Boris, but not too much. Better to have him gainfully occupied in City Hall than jobless, making trouble in Westminster.

Towards the end there is a revealing exchange, when Sarah Sands suggests recent poll gains for UKIP could mean Cameron having to stage a “rose garden conference with Nigel Farage”.
The PM is not convinced…

“I wouldn’t go there.”

“What, never?”

“If you are clairvoyant… I don’t think that is what is going to happen. When it comes to the next election, do you want a Conservative-led government, or to go backwards with Labour or waste your votes one of these other parties, that is the question.”

It’s his use of “Conservative-led” which intrigues me. It is a Labour party press office construct, used to bash the coalition as “the same old Tories” and ignores the role of the Lib Dems.

If the PM was confident of an overall majority next time round, why not just say “Conservative government”?

Of course it could mean nothing, but the jittery Tory backbenchers and die hard traditionalists will note this unconscious admission that a full-blooded Conservative majority is not guaranteed.

6.20pm UPDATE: A senior Downing Street has been in touch: ,Be in no doubt, we are going all out for a majority in 2015.”

9.30pm UPDATE: Now UKIP have seized on the comment. This just arrived from leader Nigel Farage:

“What a message for his tired downhearted troops, at the end of a hard and often wet campaign. It is obvious that David Cameron prefers to be in coalition with the Lib Dems than to be leading those whose work has got him though the door of Number 10. His own activists and members must be seething at this.”

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  • Kevin McNamara

    intriguing language indeed. the first admission from cameron that a post-2015 tory majority is not possible.

  • bob idle

    I don’t think this “conservative led government” remark means anything – except that the prime minister was unable to gather his thoughts together before answering.

    But what does matter is that people who tend to support the lib-dems will be wary of doing so at the next general election. ‘We’ (and I include myself in that)  might switch, for example, to the green party (if choice available in constituency – has not been available in mine to date).

    Anyway, it looks more than likely that it is labour who will be making a coalition next time, so that means it is a difficult choice for those who would support a lib-lab pact.

    I think the liberal democrats have the cards and they will have to come clean and say who they would and would not go into coalition with – they will have to do this prior to the election.

    Perhaps they will have another leader by then anyway – could Charles Kennedy make a comeback??????

  • Matt Tysoe

     the country is screwed in other words

  • Matt Tysoe

     It is his own stupid fault, an EU referendum would win a landslide.

  • aardvark10

    Well he’s found that being in a coalition means he doesn’t have to fulfill his manifesto promises – it worked extremely well this time round.

  • Kevin McNamara

    that option is no longer open to him. he reneged on holding a referendum on lisbon treaty, his veto was shown to be a fraud and he three-line whipped his mp’s against a referendum.

  • hurryuparrycomeon

    So UKIP in the worst crisis to hit Europe since 1939 managed to gain a few extra seats out of thousands. They are a joke. They haven’t even had protests in London against the EU, that tells you all that is needed, either they are a siphon to relieve the angst against the EU or they just opportunists so Farage can get a nice earning and pension at the EU. FACT ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

    I am anti-EU but these guys have no PR skills or brains and are shills. There is no party that represents me. Fed up with the lot of them! I can’t even represent myself!

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