Confidence and supply

The good people of New Zealand are past masters are power sharing. You can see a version of an enhanced “confidence and supply” here, where the junior partner is offered a few ministerial posts, but there are firebreaks on collective responsibility.

In Westminster there’s rightly been a lot of focus on policy. But the terms of co-operation are often as difficult to negotiate. From the NZ examples, it’s possible to sketch out some of the key elements underpinning a deal. (Warning: this is one for the legal scholars.)

1. A clause on “good faith and no surprises” These politicians trust one another. They really do. Read more

There are three broad models for a deal, which is looking ever more likely.

A full coalition: A clutch of cabinet posts for the Lib Dems. Collective responsibility. A multi-year legislative agenda and a complex arrangements for co-operating in government, resolving disputes, sharing information, developing policy. Cameron wins stable backing for a full term, take bulk of credit while sharing fallout from unpopular decisions. Both leaders face possible uprising from activists. Lib Dems struggle to maintain distinctive identity. The least likely option. Read more