Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority


9:59 am - May 8th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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When Nick Clegg meets his MPs today and polls them, I expect he’ll tell them that the party is in a lose-lose situation. Here is why.

Clegg does not want to prop up Gordon Brown’s party because that would make the Libdems more unpopular.

But going into a coalition with the Tories would incur much bigger costs. Clegg has repeatedly said he sees the Libdems as the only true progressive party and that it wants to supplant Labour as the real opposition. Going into an alliance with the Conservatives m not only destroys the idea that the Libdems are the official opposition, but will also throw away a lot of support.

Reading the grassroots – it’s clear that the Libdems overwhelmingly want voting reform to be their principle policy. Not surprising, since the current system works badly against them. But is Cameron likely to agree to anything approaching meaningful vote reform? I doubt it.

And lastly, if you see yourself as the only true progressive force, how do you justify allying with the least progressive party around (other than the DUP of course)?

It looks like Clegg holds the cards, but he’s actually in a very weak position.

The election results were good for the left, given the odds. The BNP lost, UKIP didn’t get anywhere and the Tories failed to get a majority despite all that money and press support behind them. Hell – their main opposition was a highly unpopular leader of a tired party that had no vision and ran one of the lamest campaigns in recent history. They are trying hard to ignore the grim reality but it’s still there.

If Labour want that coalition for the sake of people they claim to be fighting for – then the party needs to make it much easier for Clegg to come over.

For a start, Brown can’t stay as leader. Secondly, they need to adopt the main Libdem policies (which can’t be that hard).

I’d even go as far as saying: make Clegg PM – his approval ratings are far higher than any Labour minister. That would keep Libdems happy and keep Labourites (because they want to stay in power) happy.

On that point, can Labourites please stop going on about how the Libdems are so right-wing and want to slash everything? Here are the figures in graphical form.

Labour ministers should stop being so power-hungry and think about the people they’re seeking to represent. If they truly think the Tories will be terrible for those people, then they need to think about offering more incentives to Clegg.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. rwillmsen

“Secondly, they need to adopt the main Libdem policies (which can’t be that hard).”

As you say, the results show that people are not prepared to vote in a Tory government despite their disgust at New Labour. Now for me this implies that there is space on the left that no-one is filling. Your suggestion is that Labour should now respond by copying the Libdems ie. moving further to the right! This seems to me a total misreading of thee situation. All the main parties agree that the deficit must be slashed immediately and that our public services should be destroyed to pay for it. However, many economists from across the political spectrum disagree and point out that the last thing you do in a recession is cut government spending. Imagine in 1942 if the government had suddenly announced it could no longer afford to fight the war! The entire cuts agenda is a red herring, a Tory ploy to privatise at will and to attack the Welfare State, including our NHS, and the Labour Party if it wants to regain any credibility as a serious progressive political force needs to break away from the other two parties on this. Given that is extremly unlikely to happen, we need desperately to develop an alternative, one based on absolute opposition to the cuts. To call for a new Charter ’88 at this point is to avoid mentioning the massive elephant sitting right there on the table in front of us as we sit and talk.

Use only a slightly thicker line setting on the chart and all three lines merge into one.

Labour tweeters and other Labour idiots have no business whining about how right wing the Lib Dems are, after all the right-wing shit Labour has done in the past 13 years.

You realise Nick lost, right?

I have one big problem with Sunny’s analysis and it’s as follows:

We cannot coherently argue for fairer representation and a fairer vote while having the leader of (what is by far) the third party as Prime Minister.

That would be objectively unacceptable.

That said.

If Nick Clegg decides to prop up the Tories, especially if purely on the basis of an “inquiry” on electoral reform (which is exactly what Tony Blair did in 1997), that would be sheer electoral suicide.

That said I agree with Sunny it’s time for Gordon Brown to do the decent thing and just bugger off.

That graph doesn’t tell the whole story. What services will be cut, and which taxes will be raised – that’s where the difference plays out, not just in how much overall cutting and taxing takes place. When times are tough, parties can’t fudge it and pretend to be all things to all people – they have to pander to their base. Labour are awful but both the Lib Dems and the Tories have a relatively middle-class base of support.

8. Chris Baldwin

“For a start, Brown can’t stay as leader. Secondly, they need to adopt the main Libdem policies (which can’t be that hard).”

I’m astonished at this idea that it’s OK for Nick Clegg to want Brown to step down just because he doesn’t like him. Why does anyone think this is acceptable behaviour for an adult?

“I’d even go as far as saying: make Clegg PM – his approval ratings are far higher than any Labour minister.”

And he’s also just led his party to a terrible election result.

10.7million people vote Conservative

yet 15.4 million people vote Labour and Liberal……whose policies run parallel

That to me seems a pretty clear rejection of a Tory government to me.

I honestly believe GB would fall on his sword for the sake of the country and step down if it meant saving us all from a generation of Tories.

I’m interested to know how many lib dem supporters nick clegg would have left if he got in bed with the Tories..

The idea that the LibDems are to the right of Labour is ridiculous.
http://www.politicalcompass.org/ukparties2010

Economically they are similar, and on civil liberties they miles away from the authoritarian government of the last 13 years.

I see your point, Sunny, but IMO:

1. 23% isn’t enough to make Clegg PM in a coalition. 30%, with CallMeDave in the low 30s, then you were talking.

2. In a country unused to coalitions, anything other than the minimum winning coalition isn’t going to wash. For now. It’s a long old game, political reform.

12. Thersites

There are number of assumptions in this wonderfully jejune piece that will not withstand scrutiny. The first and perhaps the most amusing is the dream like conjuring of the “Progressive majority “.There is of course no such thing .If by progressive you mean progress towards Europe , mass immigration and anti English-ness then it was these policies that Clegg was vulnerable on. That is because the overwhelming majority of voters ( Labour and Conservative ) are right of the political elite as frequently surveyed , hence the necessity to lie over Lisbon immigration and so on.On defence (Trident ) Gordon Brown’s criticism in particular were devastating and Clegg was on the other side of the Trident debate when he was lecturing Huhne on geopolitical realities ( convincingly ). Hardly a point of principle and in any case Conservatives are vastly less keen on foreign adventures than New Labour

If by Progressive you mean progress backwards into the collectivism of the post war period then the Liberal Party has been at pains to emphases its Liberal Economic strain of late .True they advocate intervention whenever a real question arises .Nonetheless on taxation and the balance of tax and cuts the Liberals are Thatcherite if one were to take their manifestos seriously. I do not but we can at least say they are opposed t the authoritarian collectivism of Brown. Liberals and Conservatives agree on protecting freedoms New Labour have eroded and both consider a small state and low tax desirable aspirations .In this New Labour are their sworn enemies
.
If by Progressive you mean the luxury rattle bag of pro gay multicultural elf and safety micro meddling then the differences are not deep felt . The Conservative Party, for example , has always been and remains full of gay men who quite rightly do not see themselves as defined by their orientation . The extent to which homosexuality ought be taught in schools is a valid debate for example as is abortion but it is not the Conservative Party but the country that is at odds with Liberals . Labour voters share nothing f this progressive agenda and cannot be counted as part this supposed majority .

The second assumption is that it is anyone’s gift to grant PR . In fact the last survey showed a healthy majority against and if Clegg were to chance it now he would certainly lose . That would be the end and he will not chance it especially now

The pill for Conservatives to swallow is Europe but bitter as this may this must be swallowed . We must appeal to their supposed commitment to localism and democracy but this argument also rages within the Conservative Party On your graph it is rubbish . Liberals are financing fiscal consolidation with cuts I can only imagine you have injected the fiction of wildly optimistic revenue forecasts growth projections and indeed the entire Liberal manifesto. Here is where Clegg must lead his Party and Simon Hughes , if he so desires may join the Labour Party. Most other Liberals are Economic Liberals or trying to be .

Lastly from the gloomy penumbra between sixth form debating society and adulthood in which you, you Sunny Hundal perpetually reside it is so hard to see how little anyone cares about any of these squabbles .They expect the politicians to run the country and compromise . A failure by the Lib Dems to behave responsibly now will brand them as an irrelevance in the difficult years to come.

I do not have time for the fun and games entailed in “replacing Brown” and overall whilst I think an October election is the most likely result the chances of a workable Conservative Liberal administration ar fare greater than many will admit and there is certainly a great deal of good will in the Conservative Party towards our friends with whom we are united against the dead statist hand of the 20th century left

Well, after a good nights sleep I think the only option for the Lib Dems is to give Cameron all the rope he needs to hang himself. Let him form a minority govt ,and let him create a budget. The public will see very quickly that the tories have not changed, infact because of the nuts and fruits sitting behind Cameron it will become clear that the tories are even worse than before. They will be forced to reveal their hand.

This is where Sunny is right about Labour. It is beholden on them to now get their act together and pull their heads out of their arses. They must stop fannying around and get rid of Brown. Then they must reject the neo con agenda which, by the way, is about to be accelerated by Bill Hauge. Finally, they must embrace a change to the voting system. At the next election Labour and Liberal can stand a side in most seats and put up one candidate on the grounds that they will change the voting system. Then hold another election under the new system.

The Labour /Liberal coalition now is senseless because they have not the votes to get anything through , and we ned the Labour party to purge itself of the New Labour stooges. so make the tories take off their green wash mask for everyone to see. This is a once in a generation opportunity for the anti tory vote. If Labour blow it because of it’s selfishness it will be letting down the people it claims to represent, and could find itself out of power for 20 years or even more.

12

“If by Progressive you mean the luxury rattle bag of pro gay multicultural elf and safety micro meddling then the differences are not deep felt . The Conservative Party, for example , has always been and remains full of gay men who quite rightly do not see themselves as defined by their orientation .”

Tory Gay men are like battered wives. they stay with their abuser.

” Lastly from the gloomy penumbra between sixth form debating society and adulthood in which you, you Sunny Hundal perpetually reside ”

You knw it was a sack of shit piece when he has to resort to bullshit like that. Talk about long winded tory clap trap.

Just a couple of problems to highlight here.

Gordon Brown, to avoid, I imagine, damage that would follow any suggestion of him clinging on, has conceded to Cameron a legitimacy that he doesn’t warrant.

His patient and polite “After you, Dave” approach to talks with Clegg runs counter to convention. Cameron has no more right to initiate talks on forming a government than any other party leader.

He failed to win an outright majority – just like Alex Salmond, and others. Caroline Lucas is the only party leader who could credibly claim any sort of breakthrough in this election – not Cameron.

If the deal breaker IS proportional representation we‘d better get used to the idea that coalitions are open to all to organize at anytime without the ritualistic ordering of a dance card.

Any undertaking of the major parties on PR is not worth a barrel of spit without fixing a date for a referendum and the next general election. No-one should want PR without fixed parliaments.

Can anyone confirm with certainty that a House of Commons majority favouring a referendum on changing to PR is actually feasible?

Why the heck should Labour get rid of their leader just because Clegg has bought into the media mugging of Brown? Who the heck does Clegg think he is?
Brown has done amazingly well to get Labour this percentage of the vote and this many seats: without the support of The Sun, Times, Mail, Express, Telegraph – and even The Guardian. If Labour want a new leader – there’s nothing wrong with that. In the end only Labour stuck to campaigning on the issues and that’s why their vote held up.

@16

In the end only Labour stuck to campaigning on the issues and that’s why their vote held up.

Erm… if losing 94 seats counts as Labour’s vote “holding up” I’d hate to see them lose. Sally is right, they need to ditch the New Labour baggage and fast. There’ll probably be another election within a year or so – the ideological lines are already being drawn and they’ll need to take advantage of that.
If the Libdems go into coalition with the Tories they will lose the respect of every LD voter I know (people who either agree with them or vote tactically on an anti-Tory ticket).

I am not sure this progressive coalition exists or is anyway feasible. For a start, the Lib Dems saw massive swings going to the Tories losing a few decent majorities and more than one leading light in the process. The Lib Dems appeared to be far more successful in unseating Labour candidates than Tories. If the Lib Dems were to stand aside in some seats, I think their voters would shift to the Tories anyway. The Lib Dems may have things in common with some aspects of the Labour Party, who are not particularly progressive, but they lack any kind of collective backbone to implement any of them. Ask yourself this, would anyone here prop up a party who draw vast swathes of support from homophobes, racists, climate change deniers etc? And for what? A vague ‘enquiry’ into electoral reform and a few woolly commitments on tax reform?

The Tories haven’t changed one iota, all they have done is got better of shielding their views from the wider public (and, it seems the Lib Dems).

If I was Gordon Brown, I would give notice that I was going to resign in an hour, if he not could secure a deal with the Lib Dems. No-one ever grew a pair in an hour of course, but it least it would put Clegg in the spotlight once more.

19. Charlie 2

When it comes down to progressive politics , it seems to result in more government regulation resulting in the employment of more white collar workers ,rather than benefitting blue collar craftsmen employed in industry and agriculture. As manufacturing has decline more under Labour than the Tories, perhaps it is time for Labour toconsider the industrial and agricultural working classes. This means creating a training system for the craftsmen, technicians , scientists and engineers which is the best in the world , rather than a system which is of primary benefit for middle class state employees. Basically we need to look at the craft, maths and science teaching in all the countries which are higher up the league table and make sure we design a system which results in the UK being the best in the World.

If we want to become leaders in green technology we need the people with the relevant skills- we need a tchnically trained workforce whose skills and size matches that of Germany. The massive increase in those going to university has not resulted in a corressponding increase in scientists and engineers. When maths, physics, chemistry and biology become the most popular A levels, then perhaps we have a chance of competing on the World- look at the number of engineers and scientists produced by China, India , Singapore, Taiwan . These countries do not spend vast amounts of money educating people in the humanities. How can Labour be considered progressive when increasingly the scientific A levels are dominated by those from grammar and public schools because those at comprehensives are allowed to take A levels which will prevent them from reading for scientific and engineering degrees at Russell Group universities?

The Lib Dems lost seats in this election Sunny ..so much for Obama Clegg … and so much for your judgement ( vote Libdem indeed !) …watch as Clegg concludes a deal with the Tories ..then attacks working class jobs , services , living standards ..proud of yourself are you Sunny??

The other point once the LD get ‘locked in’ to a Tory Government, what happens to their poll ratings? If people are unhappy with them going into bed with the Tories and their polls take a nose dive, they will be unable to bring the government down in a confidence vote and force an election in which they will be wiped off the political map.

Clegg will have little option but to go along with Cameron at every turn. Luckily, by that time Clegg will have sold his political soul for a ‘minister for funny walks’ or whatever bone he is tossed, so won’t need to lose whatever backbone he can scrape up.

On the other hand, if things really start to go tits up, then he will have to prop up the Government in the hope things turnaround. IF it does turn round the Tory press will make sure that Cameron, gets the credit. What is the betting that we go into the next election without his PR talking shop producing a report? Not only that, but Cameron would win that election and PR comes of the table and the Lib Dums are back to square one.

22. Luis Enrique

nice chart Sunny, and good point

I’d even go as far as saying: make Clegg PM – his approval ratings are far higher than any Labour minister. That would keep Libdems happy and keep Labourites (because they want to stay in power) happy.

So the leader of the party that came third is to be PM, teaming up with the party that came second in order to keep the guy who came first out of power? Do you think this would keep the electorate happy? Unlikely, I would have thought.

Clegg would have to be mental to do a deal with the Tories, but given the LD’s constitution and their grass roots, it’s vanishingly unlikely he’ll be able to take 75% of either the LD MP’s, or the Federal Council – he’d be more likely to split his own party trying force them to eat a rat sandwich like a Con/LD coalition.

The Tories aren’t going to concede electoral reform. They will throw the LD’s a few sops in economic and social policies, maybe even give them a minister or two, but it will all be a facade to discredit the LD’s whilst plotting for a new election.

If the Labour party had any brains (faint hope I realise), they’d ditch Brown pronto, guarantee a PR referendum in the next 12 months, and construct as broad a coalition as they can. The SDLP already follow them, so with the SNP, Plaid, the Green and the Alliance member they are close enough.

Don’t fall for the hysterical Tory guff about it not being a stable enough coalition: it’s be a hell of a lot more plausible than a Con/LD one.

Clegg should hold his nerve, and Labour should get real.

then attacks working class jobs , services , living standards ..proud of yourself are you Sunny??

I’m sorry but did that graph not flash before your eyes or are some people willing to be so wilfully naive that they can’t see the obvious point?

I realise that Clegg came third but there’s little other choice – Brown can’t be PM and you can’t really have someone new in the Labour party assuming PM’s role because he/she didn’t really fight the campaign,.

20

“…watch as Clegg concludes a deal with the Tories ..then attacks working class jobs , services , living standards ..proud of yourself are you Sunny??”

As opposed to New Labour’s wonderful track record you mean? Oh purleez! It’s thanks to New Labour we’re in this mess – but not too late for them (hopefully without Brown if the political midgets controlling the party have the balls to force some hemlock down his neck quickly) to FINALLY do something useful and ensure 1) that the Tories don’t get near government; and 2) that we have a referendum on PR.

If you were that interested in protecting jobs, services and living standards it’s the only answer.

Getting in power in Westminster with the help of SNP and Plaid Cymru is bizzare and perverse – and the Labour led Government would have to concede a lot. Also, that does not make sense politically for Labour – they are most likely to topple SNP in the next Scottish Election and it would be difficult to do so while you are depending on them to serve in Government of the UK.

And, so you want to be in power with parties who want to break up the UK. I find that bizzare and without the nationalists the Labour Lib Alliance would be around 319 (incld NI parties) and below the 323 (because Sinn Fenn would not take their seats).

So, two parties who lost among them 90 MPs would cobble up this weird coalition of back room deals and try to keep out the party from governing which has received more than 2 million votes than the second largest party – has gained 97 seats. Now yeah that’s democratic?

Now, Labour as I have said before cannot go to bed with SNP and the Scottish Labour Party (the strongest part of the labour party) would be well pissed off. Also, the Nationalists have pledged not to vote for any English only matter – and that means there is a chance that this so called Progressive Government would be failing to pass legislation in English only matters without Tory support – I don’t think David Cameron and the Tory party would be happy to oblige.

So, how are you going to sell to the British public this deal and call it a change for better – when it would definitely not reflect voter choices and it would be the worse kind of political horsetrading – is that the kind of politics Liberal Conspiracy is proposing?

And, you want to prop up a rejected Prime Minister and another non elected PM. Those who say we vote for MPs, yeah that’s why we had the debates of the leaders and PM candidates – and in that regard the only person who has not lost seats is the led by David Cameron.

And what made you assume that each labour vote is an anti-tory vote – what about the constituencies where they were fighting each other. And so any vote cast for any party other than the Tory Party is an anti-Tory vote while all votes cast against the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats are anti-Tory votes. Nice bloody logic.

The right thing for the country would be to have a Conservative – Liberal Coalition because that provides around 60% of the popular vote and also a strong parliamentary majority.

So, thats the reality -otherwise lets just have another election and if Tories are kept out this way – what do you think will happen to the Labour and Lib Dem votes – no one but the core would vote for those parties ever again?

Nick Clegg propping up Gordon Brown or another PM without any mandate – he does not want to come across undemocratic.

Folks, I’ve made this point before – Clegg fought the election campaign so he would have more legitimacy than, say, David Miliband or Alan Johnson.

And despite the LDs coming third – his polls are still sky-high and he is liked more than any other politician. Fact.

Brown has done amazingly well to get Labour this percentage of the vote and this many seats

Sorry but this is just downright naive. Brown got nearly the lowest vote for Labour ever… just slightly above Michael Foot. And his poll ratings are way way below.

Don’t blame the press – they tried a hitjob on Clegg and that didn’t affect his personal likability ratings…

27

If you know so little about the SNP and Plaid (which is obvious enough from the above), it probably NOT that great an idea to go on about what they will and won’t do. Salmon has already been talking to Labour and the civil servants about coalition arrangements.

If you’d actually bothered to read what I said, you’ll notice I said Labour should ditch Brown first. My scario is far less “out there” than an implausible Con/LD hook up!

30. Yurrzem!

I agree that if Clegg agrees to prop up a tory government it will be the end of the LDs, possibly for good.

Sally is right, unless either Labour or the tories agree to an electoral reform bill (not a referendum, we’ve effectively just had one and not another commission) then let Cameron form a minority government as best he can and watch the tories destroy their electoral chances for another generation as they screw everything up royally.

Who is going to play this well?

1) Cameron?

He does not want an alliance with the Lib Dems but he had to be seen to offer it. He is reasonably certain that without PR on the table the offer will be unacceptable. The alternative outcomes are either a short term minority Tory government brought down by the opposition or a short term Lib Lab stitch up. He knows that either of these will surely be followed by a big Tory win at the following election.

2) Brown?

He has not resigned yet so that his public decapitation can be part of the sweetener to attract Clegg and his party. This gives the potential Lib Lab deal greater credibility as it can be sold as a change option- a new PM, a new style of cooperative politics and a new electoral system. The two problems with this outcome are the lack of voting power and the lack of any obvious leader.

3) Clegg?

Sunny is correct that, although he appears to hold all the cards, none of them are actually playable in this game. He cannot sell a Lib/Con deal to his party without a PR commitment and the Lib/Lab deal has major downsides. In the end, he should decide the the least bad option is to fold up his tent and walk away but the aroma of power may prove overwhelming.

In many ways, the smartest move Brown and Clegg could make would be to congratulate Cameron on his win, to give him their blessing and and tell him to get on with it.

How’s that for a new politics?

31

I think there is a lot to be said for your scenario of leaving Cameron to it, trying to govern as a minority administration. It might be possible to stop them doing too much damage in the short term, and hope for a fairly rapid sense of disillusionment leading to a second general election: with luck the great British public might wise up next time!

I said Labour won’t go into an alliance with SNP – as they have to compete with them in Scotland and that is their strongest base. And Labour has officially rejected the progressive alliance from SNP already and a smart move I would say.

And without the SNP &Plaid there are not enough numbers to run a majority Government.

And please explain how every vote not in favour of the Tory party is an anti-Tory vote but the same does not apply for Labour or the Lib Dems. 69% of the voters voted against the Labour Party and 77% of the people voted against the Liberal party.

Yeah – let’s have English health and education run not just by Scottish Labour MP’s but by the Scots and Welsh nationalist crews too.
Great idea.

35. Nick Cohen is a Tory

cjcjc
You really have a problem with immigrants and celts
I bet as a young Tory you were attacked by a Rasta in a kilt

They may never get a majority again!

The majority of us never voted for Gordon Brown, and at this General Election we didn’t vote for him as well!

After Labour cabinet members endorsing tactical voting, one has to ask himself how many Labour votes consisted of tactical votes? Tactical votes are usually votes not for a particular party but votes against another party.

In reality the spectrum of political parties have got wider. In other words, the voters had more choice of small independent parties or individuals (otherwise known as ‘Others’ at General Elections). Therefore the Labour party making desperate claims that there was more ‘anti-Conservatives votes’ is total nonsense, when the Convservatives received over 2 million more votes than the Labour party.

David Cameron’s Conservatives has won nearly 100 constituencies. Marvellous! Jolly Good Show!

37. astateofdenmark

I’m one of these sad geeks who reads the party manifestos and all of the leaflets that I’m spammed with during the campaign.

I don’t recall a single party called ‘progressive alliance’. I didn’t get a leaflet from a ‘progressive alliance’. There was no candidate on my ballot, national or local, representing a ‘progressive alliance’. So I’m curious, who voted for a ‘progressive alliance’?

Whilst we are at it, what in this context does ‘progressive’ mean?

38. Yurrzem!

Not tory, mainly.

“Whilst we are at it, what in this context does ‘progressive’ mean?”

Obviously not you.

33

Just because you say Labour won’t do it doesn’t ipso facto make it likely. There is a lot to be said for the Nats in Scotland and Wales supporting a Lab/LD coalition, either formally or simply by toleration of those parts of a combined platform they approve of.

Your las paragraph makes no sense, which again would appear to be par for the course from someone so ill0informed about the dynamics of politics outside England.

Face it, the Tories failed thankfully. They have no more tight to power than an alternative coalition.. the % seperating the 3 major parties is relatively trivial. They all have to man-up and do business.

41. astateofdenmark

38 – Then surely saying anti-tory would be more honest and clear.

39 – So if you know what progressive means then you’re a progressive? hmm. I wonder if I pop down to the local council estate and ask them what progressive means what answer I would get. I wonder if that answer would be the same as the answer I would get in the Valleys, North East or Central Belt.

It is funny watching the tories pathetic 36% and only 39% in so called tory England jump up and down as if they got 100% of the vote.

43. Nick Cohen is a Tory

To be on honest stateof den
Not many who voted lib dem or Labour wanted a Tory government.
even the most optimistic Lib dem knew the only way they were getting into power was through a coalition. Most wanted that coalition with labour.
I think if you wanted Tories , you would have voted Tory not lib dem.
I do agree with you about the word progressive. It can mean left or right.
eating the poor and bringing back slavery is progressive but not very pleasant.
Better to say left of centre

44. Richard W

I don’t buy the theory that in a subsequent election the Tories would get a landslide. They and the press pretty much threw everything at this one and got 36% of the vote. Who can say for certain in contemporary Britain that 36% is not the peak Tory vote? It might be the case since the Thatcher 42% vote shares, that the Tory vote is dying and not being replaced at the other end of the age scale as quickly as it is dying. Can Labour with new leader improve on 29%? Almost certainly. Can the LD’s improve on translating support into actual votes on the day? Again almost certainly. Look what happened in Scotland over the last 25 years to the Tory vote. It did not switch to other parties, but through demographics it died and was not replaced.

44

I warmly recommend the Scottish solution to the Tory problem… tho I think you’ve got your work cut out. Still, stranger things have happened… the Tories were the majority party in Scotland in the fifties I think ;-)

Sunny,

‘Make Clegg PM’.

Not a chance in hell; not only has Clegg blotted his copybook by entering into these talks with the Tories but he also leads the party that of all three has the lowest number of seats and lowest share of the vote so his mandate is zip. Labour would never accept it and they are quite right in that.

@Darrell

The LibDem turncoat now Labourite returns. How is it “blotting his copybook” by talking with a party other than your defeated, pathetic Labour?

So it’s evil and right-wing just to talk with someone whose views are to the right of your own?

Grow up. In proportional systems, parties talk not only after and before elections about which coalitions they will enter. In most countries. it is known by the electorate beforehand who each party’s preferred coalition partners are. I welcome the fact that, for once, politicians from different parties are discussing what to do next rather than shout at each other like schoolboys.

I suppose you would prefer a great big thumping Labour permanent majority, which never ever needed to talk to anyone who wasn’t as great as Labour.

Your Glorious Leader Brown said he thought it was reasonable for the Lib Dems to talk to the Tories. You can’t moan all the time about how right wing the Lib Dems are, with their hatred of workers blah blah blah, then say they have overstepped the mark by talking to an actual right wing party about power sharing agreements.

Also Darrell Turncoat: who is supposed to be the PM? Brown, who the voters hate? Another ‘unelected’ Labour leader, with no mandate?

@blanco

Am rather proud to be a turncoat watching all this; I am sure I will soon be joined by many, many more as Clegg drives the LD’s into obilivion and actually, totally destroys their progressive credentials. You mean a party with which you share nothing in common with and who a committment too will mean abandoning the central cause your party has been based around ie, electoral reform?

I find it a bit hard to accept being told to grow-up by somebody who laces everything they say with personal, not politcal barbs. Incidentally, you bleat on about Labour’s lack of mandate; is it not the case that under PR second and thrid placed parties commonly form governing coalitions? You can’t complain about the former but passionately advocate a system that allows the latter.

I am saying Clegg has rather proved the point in his actions which were, instinctively, to seek what he has always wanted; an alliance against Labour and half his own stated policies with a party that put bluntly is the enemy of progress in every conceivable way.

@49: “Am rather proud to be a turncoat watching all this; I am sure I will soon be joined by many, many more as Clegg drives the LD’s into obilivion and actually, totally destroys their progressive credentials.”

Have you read this?

Tory-Lib Dem coalition threatened by secret hardline memo on Europe
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/09/liberal-democrat-tory-coalition-threatened-eurosceptic

IMO it seems some leading Conservatives haven’t quite progressed beyond the “wogs start at Calais” methaphor but do correct me if I’m reading it wrong.

It gets worse:

“I suspect the new intake won’t really reveal its true nature until it’s become clear who is and isn’t on the promotion track,” said Tim Bale, author of The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron.

“Cameron’s real problem will come if he can’t deliver on his Euro-promises, in which case the usual suspects, plus the only-slightly-potty penumbra, will be up in arms.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cameron-faces-struggle-to-keep-backbench-rebels-in-line-1969468.html

48

Can people please stop with this ridiculous “no mandate” crap. We don’t vote for PM’s, we vote for parties: they decide on their leader, and if they have a majority, he becomes PM…. end of.

I can’t stand Brown, but until Labour ditch him, or he loses a confidence motion, people need to get real. Using your logic hardly ANY recent PM’s had a mandate…. all part of our crap, deeply repellant system.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Robin Johnson

    RT @libcon: Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  2. Matt Genner

    RT @libcon: Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  3. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority: When Nick Clegg meets his MPs today and polls them… http://bit.ly/9zaysE

  4. Clive Thomas

    RT @libcon Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/aI06xa

  5. Liberal Conspiracy

    Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  6. Jamie Potter

    Agreed RT @libcon: Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  7. Les Crompton

    RT @libcon: Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/9ISFZL

  8. Soho Politico

    RT @libcon Labour needs to do more for a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/aI06xa

  9. Tweets that mention Labour needs to do more to see a #progressivemajority -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jamie Potter, Liberal Conspiracy, Robin Johnson, Matt Genner, Soho Politico and others. Soho Politico said: RT @libcon Labour needs to do more for a #progressivemajority http://bit.ly/aI06xa […]

  10. Tom Griffin

    Sunny has a point here http://bit.ly/b1lucG progressives should stop moralising and press for Labour concessions on database state etc

  11. Anthony Barnett

    Good one Sunny but may be too late @sunny_hundal http://bit.ly/b1lucG

  12. Josh Russell

    RT @denny: RT @libcon: Labour needs to do more to see a progressive majority http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  13. Labour

    […] Labour ministers should stop being so powerhungry and think about the people theyre seeking to represent. If they truly think the Tories will be terrible for those people then they need to think about offering more incentives to … […]

  14. #dontdoitgordon « Too Much To Say For Myself

    […] to Jack shit. And it certainly doesn’t entitle him to be the fucking Prime Minister as per Sunny Hundal’s ridiculous  suggestion on Lib Con this […]

  15. sunny hundal

    @hopisen here you go http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  16. Denny

    RT @libcon: Labour needs to do more to see a progressive majority http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  17. Denny de la Haye

    RT @libcon: Labour needs to do more to see a progressive majority http://bit.ly/bMMUnJ

  18. Where’s the offer we can’t refuse? « THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF MORTIMER

    […] offer that could tip the balance? Why hasn’t it been on the table since Saturday morning, when Sunny first pointed out the need for Labour to give Clegg a proper incentive? Why are we still today hearing briefing noises about AV, for god’s sake, a system not even […]





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