David Blackburn

Boris is keeping the faith

Boris is keeping the faith
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Both Tim Montgomerie and Bernard Jenkin report that Boris has not lost the faith: the Mayor of London is opposed to ditching first past the post. This runs contrary to what was reported in the Times this morning. It makes sense: Johnson’s contempt for coalition government is open - it is highly unlikely that he’d advocate a reform that might entrench it. It also adds to the growing narrative of Boris Johnson protector of the traditional right.

Cameron’s position on voting reform is intriguing. As Iain Martin notes it’s as clear as mud, and deliberately so. The preservation of the coalition is everything. Cameron is far too canny to campaign against reform, no matter how deep his convictions (and even they aren’t crystal). He will leave the muttering to Boris et al. Besides, the result doesn’t matter in the immediate term. The Lib Dem's camper-van brigade is immaterial; the wider electoral context is crucial. The coalition is predicated on a five year term of responsible, pragmatic and non-ideological government; the public is behind it. It would be suicidal if the Lib Dems shafted the coalition simply because the public gave them the wrong answer, or indeed the right one.

UPDATE: Boris' office clarify the situation, sort of, at the bottom of Pete's original post.