Daniel Korski

An economic coalition makes political sense

An economic coalition makes political sense
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If you believe, as most people probably do, that Robert Chote of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Mervin King of the Bank of England should be listened to, then two conclusion emerge: one, that a new government’s budget-slashing will be far, far worse than anything the main parties have hitherto acknowledged; and that after a parliament of deficit-busting, the party in charge will be severely punished by the voters.

It stands to reason, therefore, that it would be better to spread the pain, even if one party has a near-majority or an outright majority. The Tories, even if they move passed the magic number of 326 seats, would do well to think about a economic coalition with the Liberal Democrats, even if a broader pact remains somewhere between unnecessary and unattractive.

Far better, surely, to besmirch the Lib Dems with Conservative cuts than go it alone. As a Lib Dem supporter told me earlier today, plenty of party stalwarts hope for a go-it-alone Tory government as this selection will put a lot of candidates in second place, thus making them poised to overturn the Tories at the next election (assuming Labour remains in the doldrums). Either way, it argues for picking up the Lib Dem proposals for an Economic Council even if the Conservatives do win an outright majority and eschew a formal coalition.