It’s a good moment for a Lib-Lab coalition. It could be popular, effective and… Europeanby David Goodhart / May 1, 2010 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2010 issue of Prospect Magazine
Not long ago it was just a fantasy, a parlour game for policy types. But in the weeks before the election, it started to look like it could actually happen: that an undecided electorate, a distorted voting system, and Nick Clegg’s moderately impressive performance in the television debates could conjure an unexpectedly delightful result—a full-blooded Lib-Lab coalition.
The idea had kept my spirits up even in the dreary phase before the first television contest: a Lib-Lab coda to 13 years of new Labour, a chance to clean up unfinished business from that period and give our politics a less tribal, more reasonable, frame.
Labour does not deserve a fourth term, the Tories have not done enough to win their first one since 1997, and the Lib Dems have rising support and need governing experience. The Lib Dems and Labour are political bedfellows in a way that neither party is with the Tories—and a Lib-Lab coalition could swiftly draw up a plan for economic reform (including unhurried but rigorous deficit reduction) and political change (a new voting system, Lords and party funding reform and more “localism”).