As the coalition approaches the mid-point of its planned five-year term, it is passing through its most difficult period to date. The economy is in recession, both parties have hit or remained at post-2010 nadirs of popularity, and tensions between the two sides are growing. After two years of reformist momentum, a big ‘what’s next?’ question hangs over the government.
Most governments grapple with the challenge of mid-term renewal, and there is rarely a straightforward solution. For a coalition, the process is complicated further by the fact that the parties comprising the government will eventually separate, and as time passes, the incentives grow to emphasise difference over unity. The risk that coalitions face is of drifting without direction through the second half of their term, as consensus on new policies grows increasingly elusive.
This report is a study of how coalitions can renew themselves in mid-term and give themselves fresh momentum and a clear sense of purpose as they move towards the next election.