Coalition is likely to split before the next general election – According to senior Tory MP

The Liberal Democrats and Conservative coalition government has had many difficulties to overcome since the 2010 General Election. The cracks are starting to show and a number of people, both in and outside of Westminster, have predicted that it will break down before the 2015 General Election.

Graham Brady, senior Tory MP and Chairman of the Conservative Backbench 1922 Committee has become the latest person to doubt the life expectancy of the coalition.

Brady said while speaking earlier today on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour:

“I think it would be logical and sensible for both parties to be able to present their separate vision to the public in time for the public to form a clear view before the election.”

“Of course, it is always possible that that moment of separation could come sooner. It’s very difficult to predict when that might be.”

In contrast to these comments, Cameron and Clegg spoke about the coalition earlier today when they announced the £9.4bn investment into the electrification of Britain’s railways. Cameron disputed suggestions that he and Nick Clegg were like a “warring couple.”

He said: “I think we probably get on better than most of the people at the top of the last few Governments” and he used an example of Labour Ministers not being able to travel together because they did not get along.

Mr Clegg then added that he and Mr Cameron were “not going to lose our nerve” in the coalition.

The coalition has had to deal with a number of internal issues since its birth in 2010. One of the most notable disputes was the rise in university tuition fees which contradicted the Liberal Democrats pre-election promise to not raise fees for UK residents. The decision to raise fees caused mass outrage from members of the public who felt betrayed by the Lib Dems and Nick Clegg.  Students reacted by organising a large protest in Central London which resulted in a large number of people descending on the Conservative Party HQ and causing criminal damage.

The most recent sign of weakness from the coalition happened last week when 91 Tory MPs voted against the House of Lords reform bill which was a bill put forward by the Liberal Democrats but also had the backing of David Cameron.

Despite Cameron and Clegg pledging that they have drawn a line under previous arguments, Sir Menzies Campbell, former Lib Dem leader, has warned that due to a Tory rebellion the Lib Dems may turn their back on plans for constituency boundary changes. The proposed changes would greatly benefit the Conservative Party and Lib Dems may now oppose the changes in retaliation for a lack of support for their House of Lords reform bill. If this was to happen it would cause unprecedented difficulties and would widen the gap between the two parties.

During their time in power the coalition has had to deal with a number of different issues, internal disputes and arguments. It is clear that at some time before the next election the two parties have to distance themselves from each other to put forward their policies and manifestos for the next term but does that mean the coalition will formally split? And if so, when will it happen? As Mr Brady said on Radio 4, it will be very hard to predict when the coalition will split, if at all.

Posted on July 16, 2012, in Coalition Government, Conservative Party, General, Liberal Democrat Party, Parliamentary Business, Party Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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