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The idea of a post-2015 Coalition with the Lib Dems seems more distant than ever

By Jonathan Isaby
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David Cameron and Sam Downing Street Last year, a few months into the Coalition, there was a flurry of speculation from a variety of quarters as to whether the Conservatives would do a deal with the Lib Dems before the next general election. Paul wrote up one proposal from Cameroon Tory MP Nick Boles here, for example.

Such an eventuality would presumably lead to the idea of prolonging the Coalition into a second term, and in a rare intervention last November, Sir John Major expressed his support for longer term Tory-Lib Dem co-operation.

Both the Boles and Major interventions were thought to have been made with at least the knowledge - if not also the support and/or encouragement - of David Cameron, leading to concern in some quarters of the party that the Prime Minister's loftiest ambition was to lead a two-term Tory-Lib Dem Coalition.

But a year into this Coalition and I sense that this is now a very distant prospect.

The attempt to introduce AV - which would have made attaining a majority Conservative Government more difficult - was defeated.

And on the back of that victory, not to mention the far better than expected performance at the local elections, it would seem that David Cameron is in a far more bullish mood about the future.

Last week, at one of the regular receptions he has been hosting for Tory MPs, it has been reported to me that he told the seventy or so attendees:

"It is my aim to get us to a position in four years' time where we win the general election and govern on our own."

This, I gather, was met with thunderous applause, as it was, I am told, when he said virtually the same thing to a gathering of Tory donors in the last few weeks.

And I am sure it will be music to the ears of most ConHome readers too.


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