At the end of this Parliament, the Lib Dems in government were overrepresented by seat share, but underrepresented by vote share. At the end of this parliament, 23% of full Cabinet ministers (5 out of 22) – and 18% of all ministers attending cabinet (6 out of 33) – were Liberal Democrats. Looking across the whole of government, including junior ministers, the proportions remain roughly the same: 20% of government positions are held by the Lib Dems. The initial coalition agreement stated that ministerial positions would be divided ‘approximately in proportion to the size of the two parliamentary parties’. As the chart above shows, the Liberal Democrats ended up slightly better off than that: at dissolution, they held only 15% of the Coalition’s seats in Parliament. This is still not sufficient for some. Former Lib Dem minister Nick Harvey recently argued that in any future negotiation, the Lib Dems should push for ‘roughly a quarter of the posts’ to be effective. He had assumed the Lib Dem starting point in 2010 would be linking ministerial posts with vote share: this would have given the Lib Dems more ministers, since they accounted for 39% of all votes cast for the two […]

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