Some supposed Conservative commentators have criticised David Cameron for his positioning immediately following the result in the general election.
David Cameron has led his party from basketcase status to gaining more seats than any Conservative leader in recent history. This deserves to be said. He is my leader, and I am proud and delighted to have him in that position. I never felt this way with Iain Duncan Smith or Michael Howard, but I grinned and bore it because we’re a big party with a broad church.
But some, perhaps less tolerant party members are worried about what David Cameron must now concede in order to lead the Conservatives into government. The fact is, the people decided for us what must be conceded. If we want the majority of the Conservative manifesto to be implemented (and we surely do, or we’re not conservatives at all) then the reality is we must meet Clegg’s demand.
Clegg’s demand is absolutely reasonable and tautological. He demands that Conservatives prepare to govern in the national interest; that’s essentially it. He wants electoral reform to be addressed, and that was always going to be the case.
Every Conservative wants (or should want) David Cameron to govern in the national interest. Therefore, Clegg’s major request is not one with which it is easy to disagree. He notes that the Conservatives are the biggest party in vote share and seats gained, ah he stands ready to recognise the legitimate wish of the people, expressed clearly in the ballot box, not to be governed by Labour.
This isn’t a deal, but a restatement of conservative and Conservative principles, along with a question which, to be honest, does need to be answered. Can it be okay for an electoral system to result in such massive differences in votes required to win seats per constituency?
A boil needs to be lanced.
Just one or two final points to those who will now begin to rail against Cameron:
- 305 seats in 2010, 198 seats in 2005.
- 100 gained seats.
- More than two million more votes than Labour.
- The greatest recession in more than 19 years.
My message is pretty unambiguous; shut up, get behind David and prepare to govern in the national interest.