(1/10) Making the case for a majority rather than another coalition
By Tim Montgomerie
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(Step 1) Conservatives must explain that a majority is the only way Britain will get the strong government that our economy and society needs.
Most Conservatives don’t need persuading that a majority Conservative government is preferable to continuing coalition. Some more liberal Tories and many floating voters aren’t so sure however. The liberal Tories worry about being held hostage by certain obsessive Tory backbenchers. Many floating voters believe that the Liberal Democrats are the reason why the Coalition government hasn’t privatised the NHS, has increased the basic pension, has increased some taxes on the wealthy and hasn’t more generally ordered a massacre of the first born. The strongest argument that Liberal Democrats will make at the next election will be that they will humanise and moderate the Conservatives in the event of another hung parliament while, alternatively, they would force Labour to take the deficit and civil liberties more seriously.
Our best argument for a majority government may not just lie in our specific promises to fix the economy, rebalance our relationship with Europe or finish Michael Gove’s schools reform programme. They might also focus on the inherent weakness of coalition government at a time when the country needs far-reaching and bold reforms. The Liberal Democrats’ constant attacks on their Coalition partners have actually undermined their long-term goal of reducing the British public’s suspicion of indecisive election outcomes. The broken promises and squabbling that voters have witnessed since the formation of the Cameron-Clegg alliance mean that under a quarter of voters now see coalition government as their ideal model. Voters now see one party government as preferable because it’s easier to hold politicians accountable for their manifesto promises and there’s more clarity of mission.