Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The case for a no confidence motion....

. I attended the chat session on Iain Dale's blog on Sunday night and one of the issues that arose was whether David Cameron should table a motion of no confidence in the government. Unsurprisingly, most of the participants in the poll voted 'yes' which given the parliamentary arithmetic seems on the surface like a slightly counter intuitive position.

However, the most obvious case for a motion of no confidence is that it accurately represents how people feel. Even the recent ICM poll which seemed to show the government clawing back some points (we wait for MORI to see whether this was a rogue) showed a collapse in faith in the governments ability to manage the economy. It is also worth mentioning that this poll still showed the government a clear 10% behind which is hardly an expression of great public faith. It looks better for the government because the reality of electoral math produces a wafer-thin Conservative majority.

When the government 'bounces' it is still far behind in the polls; far and consistently enough to suggest it no longer enjoys the confidence of the public. The Budget is likely to see it fall further behind as Labour's core vote ruminates on the prospect of further fiscal pain. A motion of no confidence thus crystallises a mood and will probably be to the oppositions tactical advantage even if it is lost. It's abundantly clear to people who follow these things that the government no longer has the confidence even of it's own MP's and those that don't follow them would be easily convinced that this government should be removed.

Waiting until 2010, from the opposition point of view, does carry the clear risk that a slight recovery will be in motion and that Labour will be able to rally it's core support and enough people beyond that to actually deprive the Conservatives of a clear majority. Of course, from our point of view it is something that should Cameron do we should support. Going down the no confidence route isn't necessarily predicated on being sure you can win; it can also be a catalyst or a rallying point for peoples frustrations.

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