This is the final part of my trilogy of articles that I have done on what I expect to happen at The General Election in May.
It follows on from my " What does 2015 have in store for UK politics?" and "2015: Predictions for UK politics (part 2) - The possible Governments". So far, I have considered the results of the election, and discussed the possibilities of a Majority (single-party) #Government, and a Minority Government. In this post, I'll conclude by looking at the possible Coalition Governments that could be formed, and then provide some summary remarks.
So, the two possible Coalition Governments are:
1. A Conservative-led Coalition.
2. A Labour-led Coalition.
A Conservative led Coalition could take one of two forms:
a) A continuation of The Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition
b) A Conservative-UKIP Coalition.
The first of these seems a distinct possibility. If, after the election in May, The Conservatives and Lib Dems can still form a Majority, a continuation of the current Coalition would seem the most obvious outcome. This could come about even if Labour were the single biggest Party, because it still could be the case that The Conservatives and Lib Dems could form a Majority Government.
The possibility of a Conservative-UKIP Coalition Government, however, is a real possibility, and not an outlandish idea. If The Conservatives were still the largest single Party in May, they could switch Coalition partners if The Conservatives and UKIP could command a Majority in the House of Commons. There is also the precedent for how this would work, with: Cameron staying on as PM, Farage becoming Deputy PM (replacing Nick Clegg), the 3 big offices of State being held by The Conservatives (with Osbourne as Chancellor, May at The Home Office & Hammond at The Foreign Office), and the rest of the Cabinet seats being split up between Conservative and UKIP MPs.
So, what are the options for a Labour Coalition?
This might happen if Labour are the single biggest Party but do not command a Majority in The Commons. However, the question would be, who would Labour's Coalition partners be? prior to 2010, Labour and The Lib Dems were closer (ideologically) than The Conservatives and Lib Dems, and a Coalition between the two would have been possible. However, it is hard to imagine Labour being able to stomach a Coalition with The Lib Dems after they have been in Coalition with The Conservatives, at least whilst Nick Clegg is the Leader of The Party. Labour, therefore, may struggle to form a Coalition. A Coalition with The SNP is possible, but would be difficult, and even if it was possible, it is not a foregone conclusion that the two Parties would be unable to form a Majority in the House of Commons.
Are there any other options?
There is always the possibility of "A Grand Coalition" of Labour and The Conservatives. A Grand Coalition of the two largest Parties was formed in World War 1, and World War 2. But, it doesn't seem likely that A Grand Coalition will be the result of the 2015 election; although, it is a possibility, as it may be a necessity!
So finally, to conclude my predictions for the election, I am sorry but I am a Prophet of Doom for 2015. The result of the 2015 election is likely to be "messy". And, therefore, it is difficult to see what Government will formed afterwards, with real possibilities ranging from a Conservative Minority Government to a Labour Minority Government to a continuation of The Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition to a Conservative-UKIP Coalition to a Labour-led Coalition.
2015 is likely to be a fascinating year for Politics; but also a very worrying one. Why, so worrying?
Well, The Markets like certainty, and my only prediction is that the election in May is unpredictable, and by far the most likely outcome is an unstable Government, so The Markets are going to get jumpy, and this doesn't bode well at all for the UK economy. In this event - worries about The Markets and The Economy - it is possible that the outcome of May could be "A Grand Coalition" between Labour and The Conservatives, as this may be a necessity to settle The Markets and Economy. However, this isn't really a prediction, as I am far from sure that "A Grand Coalition" will be the result of May's General Election. As I said, at the end of my 1st article, The only thing that is predictable about the 2015 election is that it is not predictable.