The triple lock: Liberal Democrats and deals with other parties

Journalists seem to have got a thing about the triple lock today, talking about how they’ve dug it up or found it hard to find. So far be it from me to tell them what to read, but back in November last year I posted up the text on Liberal Democrat  Voice. [Insert cliche of choice about bloggers and journalists here :-)]

Anyway, here’s the relevant text again:

Conference agrees that:

(i) in the event of any substantial proposal which could affect the Party’s independence of political action, the consent will be required of a majority of members of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons and the Federal Executive; and,

(ii) unless there is a three-quarters majority of each group in favour of the proposals, the consent of the majority of those present and voting at a Special Conference convened under clause 6.6 of the Constitution; and,

(iii) unless there is a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at that Conference in favour of the proposals, the consent of a majority of all members of the Party voting in the ballot called pursuant to clause 6.11 or 8.6 of the Constitution.

Paul Webb
Paul Webb

In effect, 3/4 of the parliamentarians and the Fed Exec has to happen or no deal will be done, because there's no way that the country can hang on for weeks while special conferences and membership votes are organised. In brief, it's steps 1&2 and a deal with the Tories, or simply a minority Conservative government right now. I can't figure out whether Clegg will seek an alternative deal with Labour if he can't get one with the Tories. If not, then the minority Tory administration is the only game in town.

Debra Storr
Debra Storr

So that's a double lock 3/4 of MPs plus 3/4 of Federal Executive or a triple lock 1/2 MPs plus 1/2 Fed Exec plus 2/3 Special Conference or a quadruple lock 1/2 MPs plus 1/2 Fed Exec plus 1/2 Special Conference plus 1/2 members. I really hope it doesn't get to the quad option - a deal that can't get 2/3 of a special conference should be junked


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