Labour-independent coalition Council in Anglesey
The Labour group on Anglesey council is forming a coalition with Independents and a Liberal Democrat councillor to run the authority. Last week's election left the authority with no overall control. Labour, which has three councillors, said the 14 independents have a mandate to rule because they won the largest proportion of the vote. Plaid Cymru is the largest party, with 12 of the 30 councillors, and had hoped to form its own coalition with Labour. More on this story can be found on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-22464818
Anglesey was the only Welsh council to hold an election last week, after being delayed by a year. It followed the appointment by the Welsh government of commissioners to run the council in 2011 after bitter splits between independent councillors. Some of those commissioners will remain in place until at least the end of this month. In February, the then Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant said full control would be handed back to the authority only when a stable administration was in place.
So yet another election has resulted in a coalition. In Wales we have had two coalitions in the Welsh Assembly. The first was from 2000 to 2003 when Labour and the Liberal Democrats were in government and the second was from 2007 to 2011 when Labour and Plaid Cymru were in coalition. The UK government is currently a coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Is this the future for governments in the UK? For many years coalitions have been common in Europe.
Those who are in favour of coalitions argue Government will be more consensus-based and resulting policies will be broadly approved of and be a better representation of the electorate's wishes. They think there will be a better quality of policy and enhanced scrutiny and increased attention paid to each policy. Also there will be increased continuity so that an election does not lead to a dramatic overhaul which can produce fragmented rule.
Disadvantages of a coalition government could include a tendency to be fractious and prone to disharmony. This is because coalitions include different parties with differing beliefs and who, therefore, may not always agree on the correct path for governmental policy. Also many believe that a government is weaker, less decisive and "confused" about what it stands for.
So will we see more coalitions as the main political parties' policies tend to move towards the centre and away from extreme left or right? Will this be a good thing for local, devolved and national government?
Let us know what you think:
Why do you think that recent coalitions have been a success or a failure?
What do you think are the reasons for more coalitions in the UK?
Do you consider coalition governments to be a good or a bad thing?