Conservative grandees are furious at the olive branch of electoral reform being offered to the Liberal Democrats. Sir Peter Tapsell, a senior figure, has warned Cameron a shift from first-past-the-post to an alternative vote system will spell “the end of the Conservative party”.
Lord Tebbit and Graham Brady, an influential backbencher, have led calls for Cameron to run a minority government. The Thatcherite pressure group Conservative Way Forward has also made angry noises at the prospect of a Liberal tie-up, adding: “The last few days have demonstrated the chaos that would ensue after each general election if we adopted a PR [proportional representation] system.”
Last night the leading centre-left think tank, the Fabian Society, argued that the formation of a Lib-Con coalition government could fundamentally change the electoral dynamic in seats round the UK, and has identified 18 marginal Liberal seats as easy targets for Labour at a future election.
It said Liberal Democrat support could be irretrievably damaged by the party joining forces with the Tories.