Sunday 11 December 2011

Cameron's Terror - No Election needed if Coalition Fails

The blogosphere and Twitterati are fizzing and sparking with excitement today.

It seems Mr Clegg and Mr Cable are furious about the EU fiasco and might even stamp their feet a bit.

Clearly, this has led to much discussion of elections. Will Hutton in today's Observer now feels the coalition cannot possibly last until 2015.

I have no opinion. A party that has already moved so far on issues that would have seemed impossible before the election is no longer one I can possibly read. They are already supporting an economic plan that is failing, just as they said it would before the election, a tuition fee rise that is hurting, just as they said it would before the election and the privatisation of the NHS (again something they opposed before the election).

Nonetheless, the point of this post is to share a little democratic procedure.

There would not need to be an election if the coalition falls apart. In fact it is quite unlikely that there would be. 

The fixed term parliament act, passed on 15th September, 2010 as part of the coalition agreement, changed the way elections can be called. This is from the parliament website :

"There are two provisions that trigger an election other than at five year intervals.

  • A motion of no confidence is passed in Her Majesty's Government by a simple majority and 14 days elapses without the House passing a confidence motion in any new Government formed

  • A motion for a general election is agreed by two thirds of the total number of seats in the Commons including vacant seats (currently 434 out of 650)
To translate, if Clegg, Cable et all jump ship, all parties have 14 days to form another government. Effectively, Labour and the Libs with a few "others" can form a government and no election will be called. 

To simply call an election randomly, and dissolve parliament, the coalition changed the rules. Now, 66% of MPs would have to vote against the government in a vote of no confidence. Translating this means that, effectively, it is not possible in practise to get the required vote. It would mean every Labour MP, every LibDem MP, every "other" AND a further 91 Conservative MPs prepared to vote against their own government.

So, to all the commentators and talking heads arguing over whether the Conservatives could win a majority now or indeed, whether Labour could, it is irrelevant.

Liberal Democrats could simply leave the coalition and form a government with Labour, the Greens and others. All they have to do is vote against the government in a vote of no confidence.

Whether they would or not is another matter, but according to law, that is the process. 

It seems almost no-one knows this. All are discussing a possible election.

One things is utterly sure however. Mr Cameron knows it. Mr Clegg knows it. And so does Mr Miliband. 


  1. Nice one Sue - Makes it all the more surprising that Cameron has behaved with the arrogance he has - guess he just cant help himself

  2. i think mr milliband should seize the chance and push for vote of no confidence, needless to say he will still pursue all the present reforms its just that the condems forced the issue. well thats my take on it. come on milliband show some balls and not ed's

  3. It seems almost no-one knows this.

    But they should, especially political hacks, as it was perfectly obvious when this blatant con trick was hustled through Parliament that getting rid of Cameron/the Tories could be well-nigh impossible between general elections. Not totally impossible, but very, very, close.

  4. Any government needs 326 seats to have an overall majority. Labour and the Lib Dems have just 315 between them. Include the "Greens" (actually "Green") as you suggest and this figure becomes 316. I cannot see the SNP or Ulster Unionists becoming part of a grand coalition to run the UK.

    Neither the Conservatives nor Labour would be much interested in running a minority government. Therefore in the event of the coalition collapsing there is a fair chance that both the Conservatives and Labour would prefer to hold a general election, taking advantage of the Lib Dems' current poor showing in the polls, than limp on being able to achieve nothing.

    In this eventuality the two big parties would comfortably be able to achieve between them the 66% threshold.

  5. Phil - They can get their majority though, if they want to. Welcome to almost every other European country's way of doing things :)

  6. what are we hoping for?
    Why are we hoping for it?
    What will it change?
    Who is the better party?
    Untold questions, no answers

  7. I agree with Phil. If a Rainbow Coalition is possible then it would have happened on 7 May 2010. Brown resigned in order to prevent petulant Clegg from using him as an excuse not to go into coalition with Labour. It did not happen.

    It did not happen for an important reason - the Lib Dems are two parties: the Social Democrats and the Orange Bookers. The Orange Bookers (like Clegg and Laws) are further from Labour politically than many Tories.

  8. somewhere over the rainbow way up high, we used to look after sick and disabled once in a lullaby

  9. How and why do people support the Labour party when their over borrowing coupled with the change is policy that made obtaining credit infinitely easier that led to the loaning of money to those that could not afford to pay it back and people mismanaging there finances. This included the banks, which then went on to buy 'toxic debt' that led to them failing as those debts could not be repaid. Now enter a government that has to clear this mess up. The only way to clear a debt is to borrow NOTHING and make cuts in your life style! This they are doing, and you complain. It is called short term sacrifice for long term gain. Labour borrowed and helped destroy your way of life. If anything they should be shunned and never voted for again! This is no out and out support for the Toris or Libdems or their coalition just an abhorrence for the Labour party and socialism in general.

  10. i agree david labour were terrible, but i think this lot should be ashamed of the way they have conducted themselves

  11. Makes no difference who's in power, they all want to be oligarchs. There's no political party of any size with any interest at all in supporting the disabled. I don't know why you're acting as if it made a difference who gets power. It's academic to us.

  12. Looks like Dave is safe then as it's not mathematically possible for a coalition to be formed without the Conservative MPs. Unless there is an avalanche of defections/resignations Cameron is safe. A minority government led by a rainbow coalition would probably result in our credit rating being cut which would worsen the economy.

  13. oh well back to square one then, lets keep fighting.
    Mr Milliband you have to stand up and be counted now its in your best interests

  14. David Cameron will stay in power irrespective of what liberals say and it will make no difference to the outcome of social reforms

    The sick and disabled will just become like the Palestinian people,and that is year on year for the rest of their lives and that's to fight for their benefit entitlement and very survival

  15. HeeHee this is making me laugh. As tories rush to say why a rainbow coalition cldn't work and Lab rush to say they either A)wouldn't support it or B) yes it would.

    This isn't really about opinion!! Just the law. Officially, a rainbow coalition is just as possible, they would have a majority of 1-4

    Much has changed since last May

    1) Tories have shown their hand on NHS - now wld have to fight an election on true plans for NHS
    2)Public Sector workers and women have shifted their support from Conservatives.
    3)Lab are consistently polling 10% more than they did on 2010, Tories about the same.
    4) Libs losing seats hurt Labour. Even with shift in polls, results would be broadly similar possibly a few more Lab seats.
    5) Economy is tanking on absolutely every indicator.
    6) Tories are strong on immigration, economy and crime - immigration and crime have risen since election + riots.

    These are only "knowable" facts but it doesn't look good for the "cling to nurse for fear of something worse" theory.

  16. I think a GE would be most interesting. The Libs would be wiped out, that lithping Mr Miliband would be a Loss Leader, especially with that nice Tory secret weapon Ed Balls insisting that the answer to debt is more debt. . . . but most of all, with 80% of the electorate supporting DC, I think we'd end up with a PROPER Conservative Government in very short order.
    The trouble is that unlike the Eds, or Lightweight Nick, who have all been proved wrong on everything they hold dear, from tuition fees, through voting reform, through deficit spending, through large Nanny Statism - David Cameron WILL (unfortunately) put the benefit of the UK before narrow Party Politics and soldier on with the Yellow Socialists alongside. Not to worry, post boundary changes at the next election, there'll be an equally large Conservative majority then.
    One way or another, instead of the 'pretend' cuts we're experiencing at the moment, we'll get back to a balanced budget eventually ;-)

  17. Because of this furore there has been no discussion of a radio programme on thursday night. Radio 4's the Report discussed the amount of people coming in to UK via the Belgium/Channel Tunnel route. It explained that foreign office staff in Belgium risked arrest if they checked passengers (under terms of Shengen). Yet another loophole shows up. How secure can the Olympics be with countless possible "sleepers" laid low over the UK.

    Such a fuss was created last time immigration came up, why nothing now?

  18. “Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

    (Saint Margaret)

    But perhaps best of all:

    “It is said that [Robin Hood] fought against the looting rulers and returned the loot to those who had been robbed, but that is not the meaning of the legend which has survived. He is remembered, not as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became the symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, has demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures — the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich — whom men have come to regard as a moral ideal. And this has brought us to a world where the more a man produces, the closer he comes to the loss of all his rights, until, if his ability is great enough, he becomes a rightless creature delivered as prey to any claimant — while in order to be placed above rights, above principles, above morality, placed where anything is permitted to him, even plunder and murder, all a man has to do is be in need. Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting… Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive.”
    (Ayn Rand)

  19. That really is a fairy story. The sheriff stole all the people's money and food. Robin Hood stole it back again for them.

    Unless of course you support Nottingham's 98% tax rate? In which case you are more of a Socialist than I imagined?

  20. [QUOTE]Anonymous said...

    Because of this furore there has been no discussion of a radio programme on Thursday night. Radio 4's the Report discussed the amount of people coming in to UK via the Belgium/Channel Tunnel route. It explained that foreign office staff in Belgium risked arrest if they checked passengers (under terms of Shengen). Yet another loophole shows up. How secure can the Olympics be with countless possible "sleepers" laid low over the UK.

    Such a fuss was created last time immigration came up, why nothing now?[/QUOTE]

    immigration has a bad history with the conservatives sure they hate them like they do the sick and disabled but the conservatives also like slave labour which that's the gap the immigrants fill and without slave labour you would end up bankrupt that and the fact they would be to much violence on the streets if the conservatives kept picking on them so David Cameron best best it to do what he's already doing and that is keeping his right wing mouth shut

    Just a reminder to everyone David Cameron and his roots are of only looking after the wealthy minority hence every time he speaks he speaks about that minority group in mind just like his dad that is why he will always be a full failure just as every other worldwide leader in history has been

    Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is the same he to thinks of just the wealthy few in a failed society but there are many like David Cameron left in the worlds leaderships all protecting the minority wealthy citizens hence the very dangerous living condition's that the world lives in with drink and drugs rife along with family breakdown through divorce and brutal murders across the world the order of the day and no decent honest leader to come about on the horizon in any country

    The days ahead for millions of people in the UK are to be very bleak and like in the animal world it will be the survival of the fittest only' just like it is in where my wife was born in Ethiopia she made it god knows how (lol) and she has saved my life on more then one occasion in my battles with the DWP.

    My living hell past and present with the DWP and with much regret will be tomorrows nightmare for all and as i have said many times before may the best man win and good luck

  21. Just a lost and forlorn disabled mangy bovine aimlessly wondering about what comes next ☿

  22. Upside down communism presented in just the right time in just the right place kept carefully superficial by an amphetamine sulphate habit does not mean the makings of a cult, and a right old cult Rayn Wand was too.

    Other Cults are good old Maggie, first of our modern MPs to have fantasised herself Royalty, though you have to give it to Tony for the full Louis X1V attempt.

    Dunno what's happening now. It looks like a post democracy situation where groups of intellectual weirdoes in high places can high jack social provision and turn into a tool for their ideological aims.

    I'm working on the WCA handbook, teasing out examples of prejudice and downright hate.

  23. not going to happen, clegg and his herd like the perks that go with it. Mr C is popular at the moment so they could win, although it would be close. again milliband needs to go for the throat, cause thats what cameron would do

  24. You can judge a man by the company he keeps.

    David Cameron's "friends" - Rebekah Brooks, arrested for phone hacking. Andy Coulson, arrested for phone hacking, master of the "dark arts." Lord Chadlington, neighbour, Chief Executive of one of the country's largest lobbying firms. Jeremy clarkson, "strikers should be shot", train suicides inconvenience him and the "gooey bits" should be left for the birds. Lord Ashcroft,funder of the Tory party while being a tax avoider, Chief Executive of Crimestoppers - which has just launched a nasty campaign to report benefit cheats, with a poster of angry faces, one waving a fist.

    And now Aidan Burley MP. Filmed at a stag do with his friends, one wearing a Nazi uniform and doing a Nazi salute. Described as the "MP for Berlin East" while the toast was; "Let's raise a toast to Tom for organising the stag do, and if we're perfectly honest, to the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich."
    Cameron is an oily salesman promoting a clean image for a product that is toxic.

    Never trust a man who wears hairspray.

  25. I thought that the pressure for a GE would be coming from the Tory right who hate Cameron/the LDs and see an opportunity to get rid of both, and the EU!

    It was suggested that Cameron might manufacture just such a vote of no confidence given the opinion poll boost. This would give them a chance to ride on the 'its all Labour's mess' feeling and avoid the unexpected consequences of the boundary changes.

    The backbench LD MPs walking away makes little difference to the Tories because they only need 17 (?) Orange Bookers to keep in control, and I believe there are 29 LD ministers (who will be reluctant to give up their ministerial cars). Cameron undoubtably worked out the maths when he formed the government in 2010.

  26. @Ian David. That's a very over simplified explanation to a complex economical and political problem that ultimately had it's roots in Thatcherism: deregulation of the banks, for example.

    The Tories would probably have followed similar policies to New Labour, as they both share the same neo-liberal ideals when it comes to the economy. Hardly Socialism, as you put it, after all New Labour brought in a good deal of contracting out of public services to the Private Sector, amongst other things.

    The problems we face in this country are the same as faced by countries the world over and their roots are in free-market Capitalism not Socialism.

  27. This is to thank you for troubling to write. The ESA is something that I know my colleagues who are closely involved in the Bill have identified as particularly difficult, and the proposals trouble me – we will have to see how the Minister responds.

    Sorry to post hear just so much joy at response "not"

  28. Lord Freud plans shake-up of benefits for widows.

    They really are the nasty party after all.
    In the telegraph today

  29. The sooner people realise this isn't a Democracy the better off they will be.

    Believing we live in a Democracy is akin to an adult still believing in Father Xmas

  30. Thanks Sue,

    I think there's an even quicker way for the LibDems to demonstrate they are not simply ghastly props for the Nasty Party:

    Unless of course they actually are....?

    Grim times indeed.