The FT has said that a Conservative-led coalition would serve the United Kingdom best.
The paper wants a coaliton again. It says that David Cameron, tempered by Nick Clegg has shown the European-style cohabitation can work and proved the positives of having a “responsible partner in government”.
In fact it goes so far as to say: “In seats where the Lib Dems are the incumbent or the main challenger, we would vote tactically for them.”
If a coaltion is not possible the FT wants David Cameron alone, but it’s unhappy about his stance on Europe. The paper says his instincts on the economy and business are “broadly right” and that Ed Miliband would be a “brake on enterprise”.
Five years ago, the prospect of coalition government attracted dire predictions of instability in markets and gridlock at Westminster. Neither proved true. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has shown European-style cohabitation can work. Curiously, Mr Cameron has not trumpeted its successes. He has preferred to wage a campaign of fear. Labour, he argues, would prove untrustworthy on the economy; and a Labour government would be held hostage by a separatist Scottish Nationalist party. The risk of a cross-border leftist alliance is not negligible; but even some Tories worry that its invocation encourages English nationalism.
At this delicate moment, the best outcome would be a continuation of the 2010 coalition between the Conservatives and Lib Dems. Mr Clegg’s party has proved a responsible partner in government. Tough decisions, such as the reversal of his party’s stance on university tuition fees, will hurt the party. The Lib Dems would be more awkward in a second term coalition. It is also far from clear whether they will have enough seats to be kingmakers with either the Tories or Labour.
Voters must decide not just on the party but also on the combination which would have the best chance of forming a stable, reform-minded government. The country would benefit from the countervailing force of Lib Dem moderation at Westminster. In seats where the Lib Dems are the incumbent or the main challenger, we would vote tactically for them.