Latest Issue

A coalition government is not the answer

Cross-party government worked in wartime—but this is not a war. Those clamouring for coalition should remember that

By David Owen  

The war cabinet, 1941. Photo: John Short/Zuma Press/PA Images

I am opposed to a coalition government.

Labour under Attlee opposed a coalition when the war started in 1939, believing the time was not right under Chamberlain, and no one knew how long what became known as the “phoney war “ would last. In May 1940 we did literally face our darkest hour. This was the time for a coalition. A cross-party movement of MPs had been building up to remove Chamberlain and many of them, but by no means all,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect