One of the options on the table during the current negotiations
between the Conservatives and Lib Dems is the idea of a "Confidence
and Supply" agreement. This would fall short of a full coalition and
hence would not give cabinet and government positions to any Lib Dems.
The idea is that the Lib Dems would allow a budget to pass and also
agree not to bring down the government in the case of a vote of no
confidence. In return the LDs would have some measure of influence but
would only support bills on a case by case basis and would not be
obliged in any case.
The problem with this approach is that I am not convinced that all of
the public will make the distinction between C&S and a full coalition.
Some will just be vaguely aware that we "propped up the Tories". I
expect this will be drummed into them by Labour candidates in every LD/
We should think very carefully before entering into something like
this. I am far from convinced that this is the right way forward. It
would be better to either walk away altogether or go for a full
I think a halfway house could leave us with very little influence but
considerable political exposure on the downside.