Conservative Diary

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Tory members reject idea of LibCon pact

In the latest ConservativeHome survey we asked "What best describes your attitude to the prospect of a Liberal Democrat/ Conservative pact in government?"

The result is summarised below:

Unacceptable I'm in the unacceptable camp for the reasons set out here, particularly PR.

This is one of the big problems of a hung parliament that doesn't get enough attention. I suspect large numbers of Liberal Democrat members would be equally unhappy with a coalition. Nick Clegg is not free to form a coalition or informal pact with the Conservatives or Labour. He needs approval from three-quarters of his MPs and members.

At this time of economic peril the party leaders might reach agreement but any pact could be hugely resented - and in the case of the Liberal Democrats, could be vetoed - by their MPs and members.

The big choice at the election is risk or uncertainty. As I wrote in today's Independent:

"Cameron needs to use the third debate to put Clegg on the spot. Every Tory MP elected will ensure Brown and Labour leave office. Will Liberal Democrats end Labour rule or will they keep the party of debt, waste and taxes in power? Clegg can't give a straight answer to that question because at least half of his MPs prefer five more years of Gordon Brown to a change of government."

Tim Montgomerie


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