Dr Francoise Boucek dissects Cameron's offer of electoral reform

Dr Françoise Boucek, of the Department of Politics, dissects Cameron's offer of electoral reform in the event that the Liberal Democrats align with the Conservatives:

Published on:
Dr Francoise Boucek
Dr Francoise Boucek

At a press conference this afternoon (Friday 7 May) David Cameron has given the broad outline of what a government of ‘national interest’ means for the Conservatives.

He first emphasized that the Conservatives’ share of the popular vote actually surpassed that of Labour at the last election: 36.9 per cent v. 36 per cent for Labour in 2005.

He then made ‘a big and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats’ to solve the urgent crisis facing the UK.

There are several key policies on which the Conservatives and Lib Dems agree including schools and tax relief on low earners.

But more importantly, Cameron indicated that the Conservatives are willing to set up a committee to examine electoral reform.

What form this will take is too early to tell but there are very democratic ways of going about this as demonstrated by the Citizens’ Assemblies on electoral reform set up recently by some Canadian provinces with the final choice put to referendum and requiring ‘special’ majorities.

Cameron has stressed the urgency of getting agreement quickly so that the government can start working as soon as possible.

In my view this will happen more rapidly than some pundits indicate. The Lib Dems are said to have detailed proposals ready to put on the table and I wouldn’t be surprised if a new government was in place by early next week.

Dr Françoise Boucek

Department of Politics

Queen Mary, University of London