Coalition risks ‘drifting’ in run-up to 2015

By Cassie Chambers

The coalition risks becoming ineffective without midterm renewal, a think-tank has claimed.

A report by the Institute for Government argues the coalition must conduct a mid-term policy review to focus the coalition's objectives and allow it to achieve its policy goals.

It says mid-term renewal is a challenge for all governments – and is even more complicated for coalitions.

Akash Paun, the lead author of the report, said that coalitions are inherently unstable at the end of their terms and that they risk becoming directionless without clearly defined goals.

"The natural cycle of a multi-party government is that centrifugal forces from within the parties will exercise a growing pull on the leaders to disengage and to assert themselves more in dealings with the other side," he said.

To avoid the deadlock created by this process, the report argues the government must take several steps: clarifying its stance on issues, defining its overarching objectives and developing a clearer link between policy commitments and the budget requirements that underpin them.

Mr Paun also recommended that the two parties should "come together to reaffirm what they are in government to achieve, to reach compromise on the big issues, and to trade off on a few flagship policies for either side".

"The alternative," he continued, "may be a government that increasingly drifts in the wind".