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What are the greatest threats to the Coalition?

By Tim Montgomerie

Some, in the Labour Party, believe that there is much more to gain from blowing the Liberal Democrats away - throughout Wales, Scotland and northern cities - but others believe that the door needs to be kept ajar for Lib/Lab co-operation. This is what I wrote about the strategic dilemma for the new Labour leader in Monday's Times (£):

"The next Labour leader is unlikely to be an Abbott, Balls or Burnham. Gordon Brown’s successor will be a Miliband. But I’m more interested in whether he will be Mr Sun or Mr Wind. Aesop captured the dilemma in a fable. If you want a man to take off his cloak, do you huff and puff and force him to give it up or do you cover him with warmth until he discards it freely? In Aesop, the sun scores a predictable victory. Politics isn’t so easy. Harriet Harman’s blasts at Nick Clegg’s alleged betrayal of left-wing voters has undoubtedly blown many Liberal Democrat voters towards Labour. In the long term, however, Mr Miliband (for surely it will be Ed or David) is more likely to prosper by offering flowers to Liberal Democrats than by throwing the vase at them. A Labour leader who offers Mr Clegg “a better deal” than the Conservatives, either now or in the next Parliament, is seen by Tory party members as the greatest threat to the coalition."

Pasted below is a table that notes the other threats to the Coalition and how Tory members rank themed in the end-July readers' survey. It is interesting that a falling out between Clegg and Cameron is, thought by members, to be the least worrying factor.

Screen shot 2010-08-05 at 08.16.09


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