Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

When second best is still a no-brainer : why Labour should shoot for a majority coalition in May 2015

Yong, Ben; Bale, Tim


Ben Yong

Tim Bale


The chances of Labour winning the 2015 general election with a comfortable overall majority are vanishingly small. It could, however, emerge as the largest party or finish just a handful of seats behind the Conservatives. Either scenario would give it at least a chance—and a bigger chance than many realise, we argue—of forming a government. In that event, Labour may be faced with a choice between getting together with another party (or parties) to form a majority coalition or else forming a minority government (either on its own or with one or more partners), which could assemble different majorities for different pieces of legislation or try to negotiate a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement. Given the precedents from the UK and overseas, we argue that, faced with this dilemma, Labour should do all it can to form a majority coalition. We also argue that Labour can learn some useful lessons from the Cameron–Clegg coalition


Yong, B., & Bale, T. (2015). When second best is still a no-brainer : why Labour should shoot for a majority coalition in May 2015. The Political quarterly, 86(1), 133-140.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2015
Online Publication Date Mar 26, 2015
Publication Date 2015-01
Deposit Date Feb 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 26, 2015
Journal Political quarterly
Print ISSN 0032-3179
Electronic ISSN 1467-923X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 86
Issue 1
Pages 133-140
Keywords Sociology and Political Science
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a copy of an article which has been published in Political quarterly, 2015, v.86, no.1 at


You might also like

Downloadable Citations