So, is it a case of “scratch a Liberal, find a Tory”?
As I write, talks are still progressing between the Lib Dems and the Tories over some kind of pact that will put David Cameron into 10 Downing St.
I cannot be alone in thinking that this is not why I voted for the Lib Dems last Thursday. As a former labour supporter, I supported the Lib Dems as a progressive centre-left party with a strongly pro-EU position, a commitment to Electoral Reform and a belief in a fair society and equality of opportunity for all.
If the outcome of these negotiations is a Tory government with the Lib Dems supporting them in pushing through their legislative programme, then I can see a lot of Lib Dem voters looking elsewhere next time. Certainly, my vote will be going back to the Labour Party, which for all its faults over the last few years, still has a progressive political agenda.
Cameron won’t be promising PR as part of this deal, some kind of talking shop will be the only carrot on offer here, and I seriously doubt that he will be changing the essentially Eurosceptic stance of the Conservative party. We will see the Liberals powerless to stop Tory cuts in essential public services. Powerless because they know that if they try and break out of this marriage of convenience, they will be slaughtered at the polls if Cameron’s minority government falls in a Vote of Confidence.
The Lib Dems are on the brink of making a massive political miscalculation. They look like they are about to throw away the best chance for a reform of our outdated electoral system for decades, simply because Nick Clegg is dazzled by the prospect of a small slice of power.
There is nothing on earth that would ever cause me to vote Tory and I didn’t vote Lib Dem to get the Tories.
If this deal comes together, I won’t be making that mistake again.
My vote will be going back to Labour in future.