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Daily View: The coalition after tuition fees vote

Clare Spencer | 09:27 UK time, Friday, 10 December 2010

Student protestors gather for a march on Parliament before the vote on Thursday


Commentators predict what the future will hold for the coalition after a parliamentary vote supported a rise in tuition fees.

Martin Kettle predicts in the Guardian that the tuition fees vote marks the end of the beginning for the coalition:

"More than half of the Lib Dem backbenchers voted against the government. They were part of the largest revolt in the party's history. Collective governmental self-interest ensured that enough Tories went through the lobbies to win the vote. But the Lib Dems have exposed their divisions and wounds in the most public way. Things can never be quite the same."

Tory blogger Tim Montgomerie argues in Conservative Home that Nick Clegg has lost his credibility but this isn't the only loss:

"The biggest loser is public faith in politics. The man who wooed the nation in that first election debate, promising to change politics, has made such a dramatic u-turn that he has brought politics into renewed contempt."

Patrick O'Flynn argues the in the Express that Liberal Democrat voters aren't the only ones turned off:

"It has deeply angered many people who are conservative by nature and never expected to find themselves in sympathy with demonstrators bringing central London to a halt. This story has a long way left to run."

Benedict Brogan says in the Telegraph that in future David Cameron should learn from Nick Clegg's leadership and have a higher profile:

"One of the outcome of this episode, I reckon, should be a review of the Coalition's strategy for handling these kind of awkward policy choices. Yes, Mr Clegg and his party are the ones who had to account for their change of view, but Mr Cameron can't rely on him to absorb all the blows. He'll need to spend more time with his own head above the parapet in the months to come."

The Daily Mail editorial gives advice on what policies the coalition should focus on now:

"At the end of the day, however, the hardest thing to accept is that we should be so ferociously taxed - and expected to pay such onerous student fees. The real challenge for ministers now is to turn their minds away from yesterday's ignoble compromise, and towards the tax cuts that would help Middle Britain to help itself."

Links in full

Martin Kettle | Guardian | For the coalition, this is the end of the beginning
Tim Montgomerie | Conservative Home | 79% of Tory members don't want Coalition to continue beyond the next election
Patrick O' Flynn | Express | These three never had to worry about debt or tuition fees
Benedict Brogan | Telegraph | What David Cameron can learn from Nick Clegg about leadership
Daily Mail | Little honour in this ignoble compromise

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