why do we have a coalition government
With less than 100 days to go until the General Election, the long campaign to win your vote, a seat in the House of Commons and the opportunity to form a Government has well and truly begun. Polls are showing that this is likely to be one of the most exciting and twist-filled elections for a generation with noone clear about who will emerge victorious on May 8th. The implications could be huge. It is not beyond belief to imagine that we may have seen the last of a single-party government for quite some time as coalitions are likely to be more frequent both out of choice and necessity. Across Europe we have seen the emergence of both more right and left wing political groups with the most recent being the emergence and election of the Syriza party in Greece. History has shown us that after recessions, people tend to shift further right or left of centre than they were before a response to difficult economic times and a desire to find a better solution.
Miliband has been urged to shift to the left as members of his party believe that they will be able to replicate the success of the Syriza party in Greece. The Conservative party are being encourage to shift right in order to counter the pressure that UKIP are putting on normal Tory core voters. Neither main party wants a coalition a majority Government is the aim although both would form coalitions if it put their leaders in Number Ten. Are coalition Governments stronger or weaker than single party Governments?
When is a coalition formed? A coalition can be formed as soon as the results are in, showing there is a hung parliament with no clear winner. The magic number for a majority in Westminster is 326 seats. In the past, they have also been formed at times of national emergency. It can take anything from a few days to weeks to negotiate. What types of pact are there?
The formal coalition between the Conservatives and in 2010 made them both parties of government. It had ministers from both parties and committed them to collective responsibility, with the parties expected to vote the same way on government legislation. A БrainbowБ coalition is a deal that applies to more than two parties, while a БgrandБ coalition is an unlikely situation in which the two biggest parties club together. Another possibility for a pact is a looser Бconfidence and supplyБ arrangement. This means the minor party or parties would commit to voting with the government on key events, such as the budget and QueenБs speech, but take all other votes on a case-by-case basis. This is what the SNP, the Greens and Ukip have said they would prefer. How do you build a coalition? In a situation of no overall control, the incumbent government gets the first chance at creating a coalition.
The incumbent party could also try to govern with a minority of MPs but it would have to pass a QueenБs speech with the help of another or more than one other party. If they cannot do this or create a formal coalition, the prime minister will have to resign. The leader of the largest opposition party may then be invited to form a government and may do so either as a minority or in coalition with another party or parties. There may be a period of confusion and flux if there are two large parties trying to form coalitions with smaller ones at the same time. It is possible there could be a situation where is talking to the Lib Dems and the SNP at the same time as the Tories are talking to the Liberal Democrats and the DUP. While all this is going on, the Queen will probably stay away from London and only come back when it is clear which parties are going to form a government and who will be prime minister.
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