The text of Sir John Major’s comments on the 2010 General Election, made on Friday 7th May 2010.
SIR JOHN MAJOR:
The Conservative Party have had a huge advance in this General Election but we don’t have an overall majority, we haven’t won the election. We have something between 300 and 310 seats. So we cannot have a programme entirely of our own choosing, that’s what the electors have decided and we have to honour that.
That does mean in the interests of making sure that we have stable government, that we have to look with whom we can do a deal and how we can do a deal. Not for party electoral interest but for national interest.
So I think it is right to seek some sort of accommodation with the Liberals I’m entirely happy with that, I think it’s the right thing to do in the national interest.
The important thing is to tackle the problems we have in the economy, they are very serious. I don’t think people realise how serious this structural different is. Its grown up over ten years, it needs to be dealt with comprehensively. That can be best dealt with a government that is secure in the House of Commons.
If the price for that is one or two Liberals in the Cabinet, it’s a price in the national interest that I personally be prepared to bear.
Of course we would prefer to have an overall majority. But we don’t have an overall majority. And what is the first matter of importance at the moment. It is to take the measures to put the economy right. If we leave it, if we drift along with a Government that can’t take those decisions then the risk of some form of market reaction and chaos is too high for any serious politician to take a risk with.
Now upon that basis we have to seek an accommodation in my judgement, we are right to seek an accommodation, and of course not having an overall majority we must make sacrifices.
There are many areas where we disagree with the Liberals, that is certainly true, there are other areas where there’s a substantial amount of common agreement. At a time of crisis you build on the common agreement, you don’t magnify the differences.