UK Politics

Conservative viewpoints: Time to end the coalition?

Do Conservative activists believe the coalition with the Lib Dems is working well - or do they want the party to govern on its own?


We risk losing sight of the people who brought us into No 10 in the first place if we keep on talking about the fate of the coalition agreement. People are not sitting at home, navel-gazing and talking about whether the agreement will last another year or two years. They are talking about whether they have enough to fill up the tank and get to work. Our focus should be, as in 2010, on fighting the deficit and creating economic growth.


At times the coalition has been very bumpy. Of course David Cameron wants to try and do things on his own at times but it is interesting to see how he has had to compromise. If you are in bed with some one else, at least you can compromise and the ideas you have will carry on. In south Gloucestershire, we had a minority council and there were times when the parties of other persuasions ganged up on us, voted against us and we lost out.


I was not in favour of the coalition in the first place. We are in some ways very much controlled by what the Lib Dems want and, in some cases, being held to ransom. Personally I feel we have fulfilled every aspect of the coalition agreement while the Lib Dems are on the brink of not doing so by vetoing boundary reforms. While I don't think it is a coalition breaker, I think there is scope for rebalancing the number of Lib Dems ministers in government. They only have 50-odd MPs and without us they would have stood no chance of power.


If the coalition was right for 2010 then it is right for 2012. If we were to govern as a minority, Labour would make every vote as difficult as possible and MPs would be dragged out of hospital and back from overseas. It would make government haphazard and unworkable. If you talk to people outside the bubble, there is a recognition the coalition was necessary and is.

We said we would be in coalition for the long term. It is very dangerous to say you will do something and then not do it unless there is some major breach of trust. Our biggest danger is losing international financial confidence. Just imagine if you needed to get a policy through but you could not because you did not have the support. It would be messy and indecisive politics.


A minority government, dream on! The sad thing about the conference is that so many of the delegates and even ministers are so dismissive of the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems have had to make a lot more sacrifices than we have and you have to admire them because they are in a 'no win' position. The coalition is a marriage born of necessity. We could not be in government without some form of coalition. I was one of those who favoured us fighting the next election as a coalition. I think that is now unrealistic but it is a shame.