Monday, 10 May 2010

Deal Still to be Reached on Possible Power Sharing.

By Ben Aulakh

Negotiations are continuing today between the senior Liberal Democrat’s and Conservatives on reaching a deal to form a possible power-sharing government.

Talks have been under way since Friday after the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg stated, in a speech outside the party’s headquarters, “The Conservative party, which has more votes and seats, should seek to govern in the national interest.”

Mr Cameron responded by making a “Big, open and comprehensive offer” to Mr Clegg in a statement given on Friday afternoon.

Mr Cameron also made clear his intention to work with Mr Clegg on the proposed Lib Dem policy of a “pupil premium”, as well plans to build a low carbon economy and shared opposition to labour’s ID card’s scheme.

The two party leaders met for six hours on Sunday to discuss the terms of a possible coalition government, they also shared a 30 minute phone call on the issue this morning.

Alistair Jones, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Policy from De Montfort University says that despite the possibility of a coalition, ideologically the two parties are “miles apart.”

“The two parties are miles apart on the economy and on Europe, although the two leaders may personally be able to work together.

“However a coalition between the two would be so tenuous there is no way they would be able to sell it to their parties.”

Mr Jones added that the four main issues the Lib Dems will want to gain assurances on before entering any coalition are electoral reform, fixing the economy, Europe, and the Trident nuclear deterrent.

Liberal Democrat party MP’s are due to meet this afternoon at one pm, with their opposites in Tory ranks meeting at six pm this evening.

The Liberal’s Federal Executive, the committee for directing and coordinating the party will also convene at 5 pm.

Mr Jones also believes that the reason why Mr Clegg is yet to take up any offer made by Gordon Brown is because of an enmity the latter has for the former.

“For Nick Clegg a pre-condition of any possible Labour/Lib Dem coalition would be the removal of Gordon Brown.

“Clegg would not want him as Prime Minster, he would feel that Brown has got to go, I think Clegg will only think of a coalition with Labour in a Brown-free government.”

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