Sunder Katwala, General Secretary of the Fabian Society, makes the case for a pre-election Lib-Lab coaltion in this week’s New Statesman. His central points are that it could save Labour from electoral wipeout and would enable the two parties to outflank the Tories on “progressive” policy. This paragraph pretty much sums it up:
Now, there’s plenty to be sceptical about. For starters, I think the chances of a Lib-Lab coalition are near-zero, and there have to be doubts over whether it would actually attract voters. But it’s still striking how much the idea is popping up ’round Westminster. With Brown fast running out of options to change Labour’s political fate, expect previously unthinkable proposals to get more and more airtime. The question is whether No.10 will be tuning in.
“The coalition would not mean guaranteed re-election but – going into it with a majority of over 150 – it would have more than a decent shot. A Tory majority government could be well beyond Cameron’s grasp and the centre of gravity would shift away from the right in a campaign where two progressive parties challenge Cameron’s Tories – rather than the two-on-one attack on Labour (on eye-catching issues such as ID cards and Heathrow), which we are currently on course for.”