Cameron hints at a coalition after 2015
The 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.”
“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:
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“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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