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The Labour Party and the Liberal Party (later the Liberal Democrats) have had a long, often supportive but sometimes fraught relationship. Covering 100 years of British political history, this book focuses on the formal and informal arrangements that have existed between the parties, examining electoral pacts, support for minority governments, formal pacts and full coalitions. As the next general election approaches, the questions of how both parties might respond if there is a hung parliament and what this might mean for electoral reform are of great importance.

In these pages, former coalition Cabinet minister David Laws explores periods in British history when one party needed the other to secure electoral support or the ability to govern. The book also looks at the development of policy thinking in both parties over the past century, considering whether and when policy positions have diverged or converged. It analyses attitudes in both parties to voting reform and how this has changed over time.

Drawing on the history of this period, this compelling book considers Labour–Lib Dem options in the event of a future hung parliament: should the parties work together? Would they be able to? Which model of cooperation would work best? And what are the prospects for voting reform? The answers to such questions will have dramatic implications for British democracy and the future of our politics.


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  • Hardback, 384 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785908842
  • 19 September 2024
    Available to pre-order
  • £25.00

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  • ISBN: 9781785909436
  • 19 September 2024
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