Between 2010 and 2015 the UK experienced political life under the Coalition. It was an unusual coalition, though, with the smaller party – the Liberal Democrats – promising from the start to toe the line no matter what.
They and the Tories seemed never to have shared much common ground in the past. The prospect of those two parties joining up even making it onto the agenda was a jaw-dropper. But the Lib-Dems argued they had actual moral duties to support:
- the party that gained the most votes or seats (the Tories)
- policies to prioritise reducing the deficit in the national interest (in the wake of the financial crisis)
In a way they seemed to be thinking more about queen and country than their own electoral supporters and party members. In their moral fervour the Lib-Dems even committed themselves to a guaranteed five-year term for the Coalition! In other words, no matter how the Tories behaved, the Coalition would stay intact.