Confidence and supply

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

In parliamentary democracies based on the Westminster system, confidence and supply is an arrangement in which a party or independent members of a parliament agree to support the government in motions of confidence and appropriation votes. Parties and independent members normally retain the right to otherwise vote in favour of their own policies or on conscience on legislative bills.[1][2][3]

A coalition government is a more formal arrangement than a confidence-and-supply agreement, in that members from junior parties (i.e., parties other than the largest) gain positions in the cabinet and ministerial roles, and may be expected to hold the government whip on passing legislation.

Confidence

In most parliamentary democracies, members of a parliament can propose a motion of confidence[4] or of no confidence in the government or executive. The results of such motions show how much support the government currently has in parliament. Should a motion of confidence fail, or a motion of no confidence pass, the government will usually either resign and allow other politicians to form a new government, or call an election.

Supply

Most parliamentary democracies require an annual state budget, an appropriation bill, also called supply bill, or occasional financial measures to be passed by parliament in order for a government to pay its way and enact its policies. The failure of a supply bill is in effect the same as the failure of a confidence motion. In early modern England, the withholding of funds was one of Parliament's few ways of controlling the monarch.

List of governments currently under a confidence-and-supply agreement

Country Head of government Governing parties Confidence partners Seats
Government Support Total
Canada Canada Justin Trudeau Liberal NDP 158 46.7% 25 183/338 54.1%
Croatia Croatia Andrej Plenković HDZSDSS HSLSHNS-LDHDS – Ind. 67 44.4% 10 76/151 50.3%
Poland Poland Donald Tusk KOPL2050 KP - NL LT 241 52.39% 7 248/460 53.91%
Spain Spain Pedro Sánchez PSOESumar ERCJuntsEH BilduEAJ/PNVBNGCCa 152 43.4% 27 179/350 51.1%
Sweden Sweden Ulf Kristersson MKDL SD 103 29.5% 73 176/349 50.4%
Turkey Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan AKP MHPHÜDA PARDSP 263 43.8% 55 318/600 53.0%
Sub-national
Spain  Asturias Adrián Barbón FSA-PSOE IU/IXIAS 19 42.2% 4 23/45 51.1%
Portugal  Azores José Manuel Bolieiro PPD/PSDCDS-PP - PPM ChegaIL 26 45.6% 3 29/57 50.9%
Spain  Balearic Islands Marga Prohens PP Vox 25 42.3% 9 34/59 57.6%
Spain  Murcia Fernando López Miras PP Vox 21 46.6% 9 30/45 66.6%
Spain  Navarre María Chivite PSNGBaiPodemos I-E 21 42.0% 9 30/50 60.0%
Germany  Thuringia Bodo Ramelow LINKESPDGrüne CDU 42 46.7% 21 63/90 70.0%
Canada Yukon Yukon Ranj Pillai Liberal NDP 8 42.1% 3 11/19 57.9%

Examples of confidence-and-supply deals

Australia

The Australian Labor Party Gillard government formed a minority government in the hung parliament elected at the 2010 federal election resulting from a confidence-and-supply agreement with three independent MPs and one Green MP.[5]

Canada

Federal

In November 2008, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP) reached an agreement to form a minority coalition government, with the Bloc Québécois having signed a confidence agreement to support the proposed coalition. However, the proposed coalition and confidence agreement fell apart in January 2009, as a result of an ensuing parliamentary dispute.[6][7]

In 2022, a few months into the 44th Canadian Parliament, the NDP agreed to a confidence-and-supply agreement with the governing Liberal Party, to continue the Liberal minority government. The deal will keep the minority Liberal government in power until 2025, with the NDP agreeing to support the government on confidence motions and budget votes. In exchange, the Liberal government is understood to have pledged to advance work on key NDP policy priorities on dental care, pharmaceutical drugs, and affordable childcare.[8]

British Columbia

After the

British Columbia Liberal Party, which held a plurality of seats, briefly tried to form a government, but was immediately defeated in a confidence vote by the NDP and Greens.[10]

New Brunswick

On 2 November 2018 (less than two months after the 2018 New Brunswick general election) the legislative assembly voted 25-23 for a motion, introduced by the Progressive Conservatives, to amend the throne speech to declare no confidence in the government. Subsequently, Premier Brian Gallant indicated his intention to resign the premiership and recommend to the lieutenant governor that PC leader Blaine Higgs be given the mandate to form a minority government: "I will go see the lieutenant governor at her earliest convenience to inform her that I will be resigning as premier, and I will humbly suggest to her honour to allow the leader of the Conservative Party to attempt to form a government and attempt to gain the confidence of the house." People's Alliance leader Kris Austin said he would work with the new government "in the areas we agree on," and reiterated his promise to support the Progressive Conservatives on confidence votes for a period of 18 months. Green Party leader David Coon said he would start working with the Tories in an attempt to ensure his party's issues were on the government's agenda.[11]

Ontario

Twenty-two days after the

vote of no confidence, and the Ontario Liberal Party formed a government with the support of the Ontario New Democratic Party.[12] The agreement between the two parties was referred to as "The Accord".[13]

Yukon

After the 2021 territorial election resulted in the Yukon Liberal Party and the Yukon Party winning the same number of seats, the third place Yukon New Democratic Party agreed to provide confidence and supply to a Liberal minority government.[14]

India

Third Front national governments were formed in 1989 and 1996 with outside support of one of the two major parties, BJP or Congress.

The CPI-M gave outside support to the Congress Party from 2004 to 2008, but later withdrew support after the India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement.

Ireland

After the

Dáil or Seanad. The deal lasted until the 32nd Dáil was dissolved on 14 January 2020 for a general election to be held in February 2020.[17][18]

Italy

In Italy, the equivalent of confidence and supply is called "external support" (

Andreotti III Cabinet was formed in 1976 thanks to a confidence and supply agreement between the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communist Party, referred to as "the historic compromise" (Italian
: il compromesso storico), in which the Communist Party agreed not to vote against the government during confidence votes.

The

which relied on the support of the main parties in Parliament during confidence votes.

Japan

In Japan, the equivalent of a confidence and supply arrangement is called "extra-cabinet cooperation" (閣外協力, kakugai kyōryoku). The latest such agreement was made after the 1996 House of Representatives election between the Second Hashimoto Cabinet, an LDP single-party government somewhat short of majorities in both houses, and two parties which had formed the governing coalition with the LDP until the election: the JSP and Shintō Sakigake (NPH/NPS/Sakigake). By 1997, the LDP had gained a House of Representatives majority of its own through accessions (see New Frontier Party) and was hoping to regain full parliamentary control in the 1998 House of Councillors election. Instead, the cooperation agreement was ultimately terminated while the government lost seats in the 1998 election, leaving clear control to the opposition, a so-called "Twisted Diet". The Hashimoto Cabinet resigned to give way for a new cabinet led by prime minister Keizō Ōbuchi which entered formal negotiations with other parties to form a coalition government by January 1999 (First Reshuffled Obuchi Cabinet).

There is another implicit form of cooperation where (usually very small) parties which are not part of the cabinet join one of the ruling parties in joint parliamentary groups in one or both houses of the National Diet and vote with the government. A recent example were the joint LDP groups with the Party for Japanese Kokoro and New Party Daichi during the 2nd Reshuffled Third Abe Cabinet.

Malaysia

A confidence and supply agreement was signed on 13 September 2021 between

bipartisan cooperation.[19]

New Zealand

In New Zealand, confidence and supply arrangements are common due to the

ministerial portfolios outside of Cabinet.[20] New Zealand codified the procedures it used to form these Governments in its Cabinet Manual.[21]

Māori Party.[22] A similar arrangement in 2005 had led to Helen Clark's Labour Party forming a coalition government with the Progressive Party, with support on confidence and supply from New Zealand First and United Future. After the 2014 election, National re-entered confidence-and-supply agreements with United Future, the ACT Party, and the Māori Party. In 2017, despite National winning more votes than Labour in the election, New Zealand First chose to enter coalition with Labour to help them change the government, with support on confidence and supply from the left-wing Green Party.[21]

United Kingdom

Between 1977 and 1978,

Lib-Lab Pact. In return, the Labour Party agreed to modest policy concessions for the Liberal Party.[23][24]

In the aftermath of the 2017 general election which left Theresa May's Conservative Party without a majority, a confidence-and-supply agreement was agreed with the Democratic Unionist Party.[25]

Devolved government

Confidence and supply deals are more frequent in the devolved legislatures of Scotland and Wales due to the use of

Welsh Parliament until October 2017.[27]

References

  1. ^ James Cook, Governments, coalitions and border politics, BBC News, 7 May 2010
  2. ^ Why the PM is safe in No 10 for the moment, The Independent, 8 May 2010
  3. ^ "StackPath" (PDF).
  4. ^ Otherwise, when it is proposed by the Government itself upon a piece of legislation, "the Chambers are enslaved in the exercise of their principal function just because it was thought that their being master of the fiduciary relationship were to be reaffirmed on each bill": Argondizzo, Domenico; Buonomo, Giampiero (April 2014). "Spigolature intorno all'attuale bicameralismo e proposte per quello futuro". Mondoperaio.net. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  5. ^ Rodgers, Emma (7 September 2010). "Labor clings to power". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  6. ^ Paun, Akash; Hibben, Ashley (June 2017). "Supplying confidence" (PDF). www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk. Institute for Government. p. 2. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Liberals, NDP, Bloc sign deal on proposed coalition". www.cbc.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  8. ^ "Liberals, NDP strike tentative deal to keep government in power until 2025: reports". Canada's National Observer. 22 March 2022. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  9. ^ Kines, Lindsay (29 June 2017). "Lieutenant-governor invites Horgan to take over, rejects another election". Times Colonist. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  10. ^ Keller, James; Hunter, Justine; Hager, Mike (29 June 2017). "B.C. NDP to take power following confidence vote, ending 16 years of Liberal rule". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Brian Gallant's minority New Brunswick government defeated after losing confidence vote | CBC News". CBC.
  12. ISSN 0319-0714
    .
  13. .
  14. ^ "Yukon Liberals, NDP make deal to work together in government". CBC News. 28 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Muinín agus soláthar?". comhar.ie.
  16. ^ "Confidence and Supply Arrangement". Fianna Fáil. 2016. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  17. ^ Lehane, Mícheál (12 December 2018). "Fianna Fáil renews Confidence and Supply Agreement". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ "Taoiseach Leo Varadkar calls general election for February 8". Independent.ie. 14 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  19. ^ Tan, Vincent (13 September 2021). "Malaysian government and opposition Pakatan Harapan ink 'historic' MOU on bipartisan cooperation". CNA. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  20. ^ "What is confidence and supply… and how does it differ from a coalition?". Newshub. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  21. ^ a b "CO (17) 10: Labour-New Zealand First Coalition, with Confidence and Supply from the Green Party: Consultation and Operating Arrangements". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  22. ^ Bryant, Nick (7 May 2010). "Lessons from New Zealand in art of coalition building". BBC News.
  23. ^ Weaver, Matthew (16 March 2015). "Politics: what is confidence and supply?". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Election 2017: DUP agrees 'confidence' deal with Tories". BBC News.
  25. ^ Peck, Tom (10 June 2017). "Theresa May to enter into 'confidence and supply' arrangement with the Democratic Unionists". The Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  26. ^ "Scots budget vote passed after Green deal". BBC News. 2 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Plaid to end Labour co-operation deal". BBC News. 6 October 2017.

External links