Latest Issue

The season of insufficient coalitions

Westminster is filled with plotters but nobody has the numbers

By Sunder Katwala  

Does anyone have the numbers to bring her down? Photo: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

The first rule of politics is being able to count, said Lyndon B Johnson. Applying LBJ’s rule to Westminster reveals this to be the season of insufficient coalitions. What explains the curious cocktail of political volatility and stalemate is that many plots are afoot, but nobody’s numbers quite add up.

This is true when you look at internal Conservative scheming, but also when you look at the way forward on Brexit.

Consider the first. Conservative backbenchers…

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