LABOUR is entering the final few days of campaigning as parties battle it out for any undecided voters. So what would a Labour minority government look like?
While opinion polls are showing the Conservative Party on track to win a majority, the Labour Party has seen a spike in support over the past few weeks, and the possibility of a hung parliament is still present. So if Labour achieves more votes than any other party but not enough for a majority, what might happen?
While Labour isn’t likely to form a minority government straight after the election, there is another sequence of events which could see this happen.
If Boris Johnson wins a minority government on December 12, he will have a chance to form a government.
If, however, he cannot form a government which commands support in the House of Commons – namely by losing a vote on a Queen’s Speech – Mr Johnson will be expected to resign and ask the Queen to invite someone else to form a government.
This will be Jeremy Corbyn’s moment.
If Mr Corbyn has the opportunity to form a minority government, his most likely first port of call will be the Scottish National Party.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said the party would be willing to prop up a Labour minority – but it will come at a price.
Ms Sturgeon has said Labour would need to back the “principle” of a second Scottish independence referendum to gain her support.
The First Minister said she would also seek greater powers for the Scottish Parliament and an end to austerity.
He list of conditions include the “principle of the people of Scotland deciding our own future”, as well as the devolution of powers over immigration, employment and drug laws.
Ms Sturgeon indicated a formal coalition with Labour was unlikely, but that her party might be willing to prop later up on an issue-by-basis in the House.
In response to criticism of Labour’s seeming reluctance to rule out another Scottish independence referendum, Mr Corbyn said ‘indyref2’ was neither “desirable or necessary” and has indicated he would not support one in the “formative years” of a Labour government.
However, there is still a chance he could change his tune if Ms Sturgeon is all that stands between him and his vision for Brexit and beyond.
For Brexit, if Labour was in power, the policy is to negotiate a new Brexit deal and put it to a second public referendum within six months.
Despite criticism, Mr Corbyn has held firm that he would not campaign for either Leave or Remain in another referendum, opting to stay neutral.
The Conservatives said the possibility of a Labour-SNP deal meant the UK could be facing referendums on both the EU and independence next year.
What else does Labour want to do?
Also on Labour’s manifesto if it gets into power is the following:
- A £400bn national transformation fund, including £250bn for energy, transport and the environment, and £150bn for schools, hospitals and housing.
- Introduce a National Care Service to provide “community-based, person-centred” support in England, including free personal care.
- A further £75bn for 100,000 new council homes a year by 2024 and 50,000 affordable homes a year through Housing Associations
- Free full fibre broadband for every home and business in the UK by 2030
- Implementing £10-an-hour minimum wage for all workers
- Stopping state pension age rises, keeping them at 66 and reviewing them for those in stressful jobs.
- Re-nationalising rail, mail, water and energy.
- Paying for the extra spending by increasing tax for the highest earners and reversing corporation tax cuts.
- Bring forward the net zero carbon emission goal to the 2030s.