We had a rather good election, if we say so modestly. We said that Cameron was over bought, and we got that right – by a mile. We also said that a Labour government was a good outside bet, although towards the end of the campaign we advised you to close down on that bet and close down on any bets against Cameron. And the polls turned.
We don’t claim to be able to tell you who is likely to win, but we do think that we have a nose for who is over bought and who is over sold. So with that in mind let’s have a look at one of the main two questions that are affecting a post electoral Britain – how long this coalition will last.
The coalition, everyone seems to say, is destined to be short lived. After all the Conservatives want to have their agenda and a clear mandate to govern. And let’s face it, coalitions are all rather un-British.
We think that this is too pat an answer. We look at who is saying this and we see the media, for it makes a far better story, and Labour, who are just wishing on a star. Coalitions are what the Liberal Democrats are about. Of course they would prefer Labour, but that is simply not on offer. The reason why every Liberal Democrat voted for this offer was that it was the only serious deal that is open to them – and they know it.
Similarly the Conservatives are not as worsted as one would thinks. Their program on many of the things that really energise their grass roots, things such as Europe and immigration, are clear from Liberal meddling. They also seem to have won the spending argument and as far as tax goes they may have had to agree to an extension of tax allowances, but it is not too hard to convince a Conservative of the goodness of a tax cut. The killer argument, that there is a lot of Tory talent that will be blocked by the Liberal Democrats misses two rather obvious points – that the Conservative Party is a tiny governing party if it were to go on its own and there would be a serious talent shortage. There would also be a massive problem in that just under half the MPs are new and so in most cases not ready for anything but the lowest office.
Our recommendation is to sell against any collapse of the coalition government for the next two to three years.