Will the UK coalition government work?

I’m in the UK, and it’s an interesting time for Uk politics because the center-right party (conservatives) are in a coalition governemnt with the centerist Liberal-Democrats. Do you think this coalition can survive? There are some fundamental differences in policy between the parties, especially on immigration issues and inheritance tax. Can they make it work?
My money is on yes. Both parties have nothing to gain and everything to lsoe if they allow the coalition to fall apart.


Not in UK (in the US, but teach government) and have been talking about this with my students. The idea of a coalition government, one that could fall apart and cause another national election, fascinates my students. One of the questions they have is why are the Liberal-Democrats a centrist party? With a name like that, you would think they would be left of the Labor party.

To answer your question, from across the pond, I do not think that it will last very long. I think it has a better shot than any other Conservative + other party coalition, but the first time the Conservative balk at one of the Liberal-Democrats key issues (proportional representation, for instance) I think they will bolt and try for a better showing in the next election. I give it less than a year (Thanksgiving {end of November} at best? But it would be ironic if it collapses by Labor Day {US holiday in early September}).

The Liberal Democrats are very similar to a party that exists here in Australia known as the Australian Democrats. They don’t see parliamentary seats as a means to end but as an end in itself. The Australian democrats did hold the balance of power in the Senate. Their most popular and memorable campaign motto was “Keep the Bastards Honest”. They used their balance of power position to re-invigorate the parliamentary committee system by holding the government of the day accountable. The Liberal Democrats are different in the sense that they rarely hold the balance of power in the UK parliament. They have instead developed a community politics strategy. If the Liberal Democrats can evolve and become more like the Australian Democrats in holding the Conservative Party to account. It will improve the quality of government decisions and policy and lead to greater participation for the populace. The fact that the Liberal Democrats have entered into a formal coalition instead of just an alliance or compact, means that the Liberal Democrat Ministers are bound by cabinet solitary when it comes to parliamentary votes, making this accountably agenda harder to achieve. I therefore think the new government maybe fundamentally flawed in it’s structure.


It’s going to work until the lib dems loose the reforendum on voting reform. Then, with nothing to gain from throwing away all their policies, they’ll want to leave. At this point, the conservatives get to decide to give in a little more, or try to be minority party.
Lib dems are central because they started as left of conservatives, then when labour gained popularity they were left in the middle.