Testing the Tory coalition

capx.co
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What are we to make of the fact that the Government saw its majority in the Commons fall from 80 to just 26 during the recent vote on its social care legislation? On the one hand, it clearly shows that a substantial minority of Conservative MPs are worried about the reforms.  Yet any majority government […]
Share A single vote on social care saw the Government's majority slashed from 80 to 26

A single vote on social care saw the Government's majority slashed from 80 to 26 Backbenchers broke Boris on planning reform – the same could happen on social care

Backbenchers broke Boris on planning reform – the same could happen on social care The pandemic allowed Conservatives to delay reckoning with the new political reality

What are we to make of the fact that the Government saw its majority in the Commons fall from 80 to just 26 during the recent vote on its social care legislation?

On the one hand, it clearly shows that a substantial minority of Conservative MPs are worried about the reforms.

Yet any majority government is by nature an internal coalition and the great utility of a large majority is precisely that it creates space to overcome internal dissent. To overcome the Opposition, after all, a disciplined government needs only a majority of one.

After several years when high stakes combined with knife-edge parliamentary arithmetic to make everything atypically, even absurdly high-octane, perhaps we commentators might be struggling to adapt to the rather more boring world of a government which is going to get its business through most of the time.

And yet, and yet. Boris Johnson is no ideological warrior even at the best of times, and these dark post-Paterson days are certainly not the best of times. He might have won an 80-seat majority but he seems disinclined to use it. Backbench MPs broke him on planning reform; it would be bold to rule out their doing the same on social care.

In fairness to the Prime Minister, the basic political problem is…
Henry Hill
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