Tory MPs have planned talks for the party’s response to the election results 1600BST on Friday, 8th May.
According to the Spectator, the powerful 1922 committee will meet the afternoon after polling day to draw up their list of demands for the Prime Minister and discuss any coalition proposals which may have been discussed at that time.
It will be in anticipation of a full party meeting on Monday, where they will release the full details of their demands, which may include pressure for David Cameron to go for a minority government.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has toughened his stance in recent days, ruling out a coalition with the SNP. He told BBC Question Time:
“I think we are in a sort of new world in Britain. It was the first coalition, this coalition for a long time. But if we don’t have a majority government it is not about saying ‘Go into a darkened room with somebody and then start lopping off bits of your manifesto’. That isn’t what you’re voting for, that isn’t what Labour voters are voting for. It’s not going to happen if I’m Prime Minister.”
The Liberal Democrats have been hoping to increase their popularity using the ‘threat’ of a right leaning coalition to encourage undecideds and those in marginal seats by positioning themselves as the ‘centre’ and ‘moderates’ despite their strongly left leaning policies and commitment to the EU.
They are using invented policies on a spoof website including privatising the NHS, ruling out benefits for the under-25s and reintroducing the death penalty which have not featured in any election manifestos.
A Ukip spokesman responded to website, saying “The Lib Dems traditional honesty is shown to its greatest effect when they indulge in phantasy politics such as here. They are as honest about UKIP policies as they are about their own.”
However, despite the Lib Dems desperate for any sort of coalition they can join in a bid to cling onto power, the tide seems to be moving towards minority governments. The 1922 Committee has many members who would prefer their party not to be formally tied to the Liberal Democrats, particularly in light of their ‘leaks’ on cutting child benefits and red lines on welfare cuts.
Mr Cameron himself, however, seems instinctively to prefer a formal deal with the Lib Dems which provides many an excuse for either sides when not fulfilling particular manifesto pledges.
The committee will need to decide whether its approval of a coalition arrangement will be public or private. If it is a show of hands it could force backbenchers to toe the line whatever they really think whereas a secret ballot will give them the opportunity to put principles before careers.
But with the election result still on a knife edge, it could be the case that the 1922 committee are more involved in the selection of a new leader than a new partner in government.