How progressives should cooperate in a hung Parliament

Monday 5th June – In light of the narrowing polls, and the possibility of the Tories losing their majority in the election on Thursday, we are today releasing a guidance note on how progressive parties should conduct negotiations to form a majority government.

 

YouGov are projecting a hung Parliament, suggesting the Conservatives will lose 21 seats and fall short of achieving a working majority. The same projection puts the combined Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green and SDLP tally at 329, six more than the required majority of 323.

 

A majority progressive government is better for the country. The alternative is a anti-immigrant Conservative minority who have shown dangerous disregard for public services, supported by a handful of MPs who would struggle to block plans for radical and regressive reforms.

 

The guidance from Progressive Alliance urges parties to consider the following core values in the event that something of this nature turns out to be a possibility.

 

Patience – negotiating a coalition requires trust and the building of relationships between politicians of different political parties. A deal to govern the country, considering the importance of what is at stake, must not be hurried as a result of pressure from the media.

 

Fairness – Parties must not be asked to contravene manifesto commitments, as far as this can be avoided. Smaller parties must respect the mandate of the larger party, but the core policy commitments of the smaller parties must be given due weight, as this is the essence of compromise and coalition.

 

Inclusivity – The voices of the minority count. Aim to accommodate public opinion on key policy issues and seek to ensure the needs of all sectors across society are considered, and the voices of qualified experts are heard.

 

Robustness – Britain needs secure government able to successfully enact policy and negotiate with the EU from a firm footing. Whilst it is desirable that this is the leader from the largest party in the progressive bloc, the priority is to successfully deliver a transformational policy agenda which addresses the needs of the people of this country.

 

Respect – Avoid leaks or briefings against each other. Trust is key.

 

A governing coalition is preferable to a government relying on confidence and supply.

 

In addition, if a multi-party coalition government looks likely, Progressive Alliance argues that an independent, non-civil service facilitator would add substantial value in enabling political parties to broker an agreement.

 

Finally, with less than two days until Britain goes to the polls, we are urging voters in marginal constituencies to use the Vote Smart tool!

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