The Guardian asks, “What happens if Cameron loses?”

by Stephen Tall on March 26, 2010

Here’s a bit of fun speculation, at least if you’re not a Tory. Let’s suppose most of the last 10 days’ polls are right, and David Cameron’s Tories are destined to have fewer MPs than Labour in the House of Commons (even if they win more votes) – what would the Tories do?

That’s the question Andy Beckett ponders in today’s Guardian.

Would David Cameron resign or be forced to quit? According to Tim Bale, author of The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron, he’d be safe if he chooses to be:

“You’ll get lots of huffing and puffing on ConservativeHome. But I can’t see a serious leadership challenge.” Not even from Boris Johnson? “No.” Bale pauses. “Then again, people did say he had no serious chance of becoming mayor of London.”

And what of Labour, if they found themselves miraculously back in office? Former leadership contender Bryan Gould is pessimistic:

… governments that win an unexpected extra term tend not to end happily. Gould is mindful of what happened to Major after 1992: “If Labour won this time, would voters wake up the day after the election and say: ‘God, five more years of Gordon Brown’? I think they would.”

As Lib Dem-leaning think-tank Centre Forum’s Director, Julian Astle comments:

“These are the best circumstances for the Liberal Democrats for a long time,” says Julian Astle, a former party adviser and now director of the thinktank CentreForum. “The Lib Dems, historically, are beneficiaries of Tory unpopularity. The Lib Dems are not counting on a hung parliament but they see it as a likely outcome.”

What do LDV readers think might be the result of the Tories losing the election?