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Contempt: what unites Labour and the Conservatives

Despite their obvious differences, there is one thing that unites significant sections, if not all, of the Conservative and Labour parties: contempt for the Liberal Democrats.  An Economist Intelligence Unit from just a few weeks ago highlighted how the Tories' contempt for the Lib Dems could well have the result of putting David Cameron out of office after the next general election, due to be held in May 2015.

(I would quibble with the author's assertion that many Conservatives "now are" contemptuous of the Lib Dems: 'twas ever thus).

As the EIU hints, neither Labour nor the Tories have come to terms with the fact that the days when they shared 97% of the vote between them (such as in 1951) are long gone and are never to return.  Many Tory backbenchers on the right of the party continue to cling to the fantasy that David Cameron could have formed a minority government in Amy 2010 that would have allowed him to call a snap general election some time after that would have delivered the Tories an overall majority.

The attitude is reminiscent of former Irish Prime Minister Charlie Haughey's remark after the , describing the first-ever coalition his Fianna Fáil party had ever had to enter into as "a temporary little arrangement".  (Fianna Fáil have not won an overall majority since).

This is, of course, as Mike Smithson has pointed out repeatedly on PoliticalBettingjust that: a Conservative fantasy.  Nonetheless, the spirit of Britain's "natural party of government" refuses to reconcile itself to the fact that they didn't win the 2010 general election, bringing to four the number of successive general elections the Tories have failed in.Read more »