The Conservatives’ challenge for 2020: keeping their majority

The Conservatives are relatively safe for five years. They could lose their majority through by-elections, but they are still the political top-dogs.

But 2020 presents a real challenge for the party. David Cameron’s party won a slender - but shock - majority in the 2015 general election, an election in which Labour actually lost seats, whilst the Conservatives gained them.

Generally, the governing party loses seats and vote share with each passing election, however, in 2015 that did not happen. For that, David Cameron will be remembered as a great electioneer.

However, the 2010-2015 parliament was a unique one in British politics. The Conservatives were not governing alone - instead they had the Liberal Democrats as their junior partners as David Cameron could not get his party over the ‘majority’ line back in 2010.

In the election, the Conservatives gained seats and votes, but the Liberal Democrats lost seats and votes. If we group the Conservatives and Lib Dems into one bloc then it is clear from the 2015 results that the coalition lost seats and votes overall. Of course they did not fight the election together but their joint force was weakened. The Liberal Democrats were a sort of electoral shield in the election.

When something went wrong for the Conservatives had the ability to blame the Lib Dems. The Liberal Democrats could then make their own statement and disagree of course, but their will not be such ambiguities over blame in the next five years.

David Cameron has his majority. With it comes great power, but no longer can the Conservatives blame their junior partners if something goes wrong. As a result the Conservatives will have a mighty task in 2020 in keeping that majority. Of course the party could be rewarded due to economic prosperity and success in Europe, but if Labour does well then the party could suffer and lose.

The Conservatives have a slim majority - the challenge will be to keep it.


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