Labour should consider joining forces with the Conservatives to form a “grand coalition” after the next election, according to a Birmingham MP.
The surprising proposal came from Gisela Stuart, Labour MP for Edgbaston.
She said her party should not rule out a deal with the Tories if there was a hung Parliament following the general election on May 7.
It would be the first time the two parties have been in Government together since the war.
In an interview with the Financial Times, she said: “If on May 8 you had a position where Labour had more seats than the Tories but not enough to form a government — but the Tories had more votes than Labour — I think you should not dismiss the possibility of a grand coalition.”
And she added: “If no party has won an overall majority then it will have to work with another party. And as you work through the options, do not rule out that you have a grand coalition.”
Recent polls have suggested the two major parties have roughly equal levels of support, making a hung Parliament appear likely.
A poll by Opinium gave the Conservatives 34 per cent of the vote, Labour 35 per cent, Lib Dems six per cent and UKIP 14 per cent.
A poll by YouGov gave the Conservatives 34 per cent, Labour 34 per cent, Lib Dems eight per cent and UKIP 14 per cent.
It means there has been speculation about possible coalitions after the election, but this has usually focused on the possibility of the Liberal Democrats, UKIP or the Scottish National Party forming a coalition with one of the major parties.