Fraser Nelson is doing well at The Spectator. His recent article on the growth of the state won lots of attention. Last week he
won attention for his David Davis interview and this week’s interview with Ken Clarke has also attracted some headlines.
All of the polls suggest that the Tories are a long way from winning a majority at the next election. The Conservatives need to be up at 43% or 44% but are currently not much better than level-pegging with a besieged Labour Party. The loans-for-peerages scandal may yet hurt Labour and the next few polls might make interesting reading.
Mr Clarke has looked at this electoral geography and thinks that the Tories should cosy up to the LibDems. He likes the look of the Orange Book MPs – Vince Cable, David Laws and Nick Clegg. "These people ought to be Tories," he says, and as for the LibDem leader – "Ming is an old Tory!".
Ken Clarke certainly thinks a LibDem-Tory pact will be the obvious partnership if a Prime Minister Brown loses his majority:
"‘If Brown fights an election that produces a hung parliament, the public will think his duty is to leave No. 10 and accept defeat and people will expect the Conservatives and Liberals to form a working government… The Liberals really would look as if they’d ignored the public’s message, either refusing to play ball with anybody or helping a defeated Labour party back into office. I’m glad to say the fates could condemn the Conservatives and the Liberals to form a coalition.’"
Tory and LibDem MPs were in different lobbies during this week’s voting on Tony Blair’s Education Bill but there are many other areas where Cameron’s Conservatives are close to Ming’s LibDems. ConservativeHome recently listed some of the shared perspectives:
- Opposition to Punch & Judy politics;
- Commitment to Kyoto – there is already a LibCon pact on global warming;
- Shared belief in decentralisation;
- Opposition to Tony Blair on ID cards and extension of detention without trial.