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Following negotiations between the political parties, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties formed a coalition government in May 2010. The Programme for Government contained a list of agreed policies, and included areas where the governing parties could disagree. The Coalition Agreement for Stability and Reform set out the conventions to be adopted on collective responsibility.  The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 established 7 May 2015 as the date of the next general election unless an early general election was triggered under the Act.

In January 2013 the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, issued a Mid Term Review taking stock of the progress made in implementing the coalition agreement and reflecting on the Government’s progress.

There were a number of occasions where the two parties in the Coalition have adopted different positions. These included:

  • The Liberal Democrats prevented the implementation of boundary changes, following inability of the Government to press forward with reform of the House of Lords;
  • Separate statements by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on proposals to implement the Leveson report into the regulation of the media;
  • Proposals for a referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the EU;
  • In March 2015 the Liberal Democrat Financial Secretary to the Treasury set out an “alternative economic plan”.

This Standard Note sets out details of the operation of the 2010 Coalition Government and includes information about the various agreements to differ between the two governing parties. The Standard Note SN/PC/4951 Hung Parliaments in the twentieth century sets out details of previous coalition and minority administrations.

This note is no longer being updated.


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