Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mr Clegg's Revenge Bodes Ill for Coalition

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mr Clegg's Revenge Bodes Ill for Coalition

Article excerpt

NICK Clegg's retaliation for the Prime Minister's abandonment of Lords reform, withdrawing support for boundary changes, is a serious blow for the Coalition. The boundary changes would have reduced the number of Commons seats from 650 to 600, in the process favouring the Conservatives over Labour, as smaller urban constituencies took the brunt of cuts. If those changes are now abandoned, it could make Labour's task at the 2015 general election significantly easier: pollsters estimate that Labour would need a lead of just three per cent to gain a majority under the old boundaries, whereas the Tories will need an 11 per cent lead to do so.

Tories have accused Mr Clegg of reneging on the Coalition agreement. But while the agreement mentions a referendum on AV reform and boundary changes in the same paragraph, it does not explicitly link them. It did promise to set up a committee to bring forward proposals for an elected Upper Chamber, though not to bring forward legislation. …

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