Conservative Diary

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Tories need contingency plans for a hung parliament

Lose Graphic from Jay Priest.

CCHQ recently denied a Guardian report that they had set up a small team to draw up plans if there was a hung parliament.

My own view is that David Cameron will win a working majority. The conventional polling projecting models suggest that the Tory lead in opinion polls (currently averaging 7.8%) will mean that the Conservatives may fall short on the magic 326 MPs. Because of factors I've discussed before I think that sort of lead will probably be enough to produce a reasonable Conservative majority.

Screen shot 2010-03-31 at 09.10.36 We need contingency plans though if things do not go as well as we hope. Newspapers are full this morning (eg here and here) of reports that the Commons might not reconvene until 18 days after polling day if the election result is indecisive. Brown will likely stay as PM during that period even if Labour is the second party. Alistair Darling would be permitted to remain Chancellor even if he loses his Edinburgh seat.

The Conservatives need to draw up a plan to deal with this. They need plans to understand all the constitutional implications of a hung parliament. They need a media strategy. They need a basis for talking to the Liberal Democrats, nationalists and Northern Ireland parties. It doesn't need many people diverted to the task but it needs to be done.

Tim Montgomerie


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