The mantra of the Coalition’s marriage has been restoring economic credibility. This was its raison d’être and whether they like it or not, it is still the test by which it stands or fails.
Back in 2010, things were desperate enough that a Conservative leader was willing to wager Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system to secure power. For many of his own backbenchers it was a step too far, but they were mollified with appeals to the national interest and the desperate state of the country’s finances.
On the other side of this strange pairing was a party known for its statist views at the grassroots. Not to mention its focus on pouring more public money into public services. Again, the Lib Dems were appeased by the notion that there was something noble about putting aside party interests and working to set Britain to rights.
The Conservatives believe the public think they are doing well on welfare and education reform, and indeed they are, but this will not provide them with political cover. The sole test of this government at the next election will be whether it has delivered on the economy or not. And so far it is failing. This does not mean it should not do its best to reform welfare and education, and countless other areas that are in a desperate state, but it does need to stick to its original script.
This article originally appeared on The Telegraph website. Read the rest here.