This arrangement [Parliamentary elections as “presidential elections”] has been moribund for around four decades, but strangely the two-party logic still infuses the political debate. The reason is that although the share of the vote won by the Labour and the Conservatives has been in steady decline ever since the 1950s, the decline of the two-party system has been largely masked by two factors. First, the British electoral system vastly over-represents the two largest UK-wide parties, consistently awarding Labour and the Conservatives the vast majority of seats in the House of Commons even as their joint vote share declines. Second, because for most of the last 40 years one of the two parties has performed badly enough to hand a parliamentary – if not an electoral – majority to the other. Labour’s travails gave the Conservatives a free run from 1979 until the 1990s, whilst the Conservatives ceased to be competitive from 1997 until quite recently.
Hopkin also discusses the policy positions of the three main parties and sees complications.
Andrew Rudalevige summarises the logic of the 55%-clause:
…we will all go together when we go…
Erik Voeten considers another mystery of the C-LD coalition: The speed.
…the British coalition seems based on a pretty loose set of principles and was negotiated in a similarly ad hoc manner…
…Given the many difficult decisions the government faces, not in the least on how to balance the budget, one needs not go out on a limb to predict that there will soon be important issues on the table that the coalition partners have not yet bargained about. It would seem equally unadventurous to predict that this government will not last five years.