From Red and Blue To Orange and Green

Below is a Venn Diagram (courtesy of the Telegraph) of where Tory, Liberal and Labour policy preferences overlap. Will Britain go orange or green?


Gordon Brown's pledge to move on as soon as his party selects a new leader makes the future of Britain more likely to be orange than green. There's a lot that's murky right now but I suspect that electoral reform remains the stumbling block for a Cameron-Clegg coalition government. Cameron's right will not tolerate both an alliance with Liberals and a new electoral system that would ensure that there would almost certainly never be a solely Tory government in the future. Clegg's base is also extremely nervous of being coopted by the Tories in a government whose main task will be to slash public spending.

So the option of a Lib-Lab pact - as in the 1970s - is real again. If it works, I suspect it would mean some sort of move toward proportional representation - and a new era in British politics. It would also mean the entrenchment of Britain as a more European center-left social democracy - a decisive rejection of its Thatcherite re-orientation in the 1980s.

More interesting: both Labour and the Liberals are pointing to deficit reduction as their first priority. But could Clegg be prime minister? I doubt it. Here's the man I'd be looking at right now: David Miliband. But how soon could Labour switch its leader?