UK ‘coalition’ deals are reportedly deadlocked over the issue of PR. For the Liberal Democrats, it’s a (near) red-line issue; for the Tories, it’s something they’re totally against, because they currently have the most to lose if the UK dropped a first-past-the-post voting system.
I think the Tories should nonetheless embrace PR, and here’s why. This would secure, without doubt, Liberal Democrat backing (under contract), enabling a working majority for the following term. The Conservatives would get through the majority of what they want, with minor concessions to the Liberal Democrats regarding certain budgetary and taxation issues. If (and I realise this is a big ‘if’) everything worked well, Labour would be sidelined and the Tory vote-share would rise, because it would be seen to have not only been the party that put things right, but also a ‘progressive’ party regarding electoral reform.
Should the Con/Lib coalition survive until 2015, the Tories would grab a larger vote share, and may even have a small chance of a majority under PR. Worst-case scenario: by that point, the Con/Lib coalition is seen as a success, the Lib-Dems are largely happy, and the coalition continues, with the Conservative Party’s biggest opposition, Labour, sidelined.