The coalition won the tuition fees hike vote which allows Universities in England to charge up to £9000 pounds from home students.
In doing so the government’s majority was considerably reduced from notional 84 to mere 21 votes.
Rebellion marked the day both inside and outside the house of parliament in London.
Both parties in the coalition witnessed MP’s either abstaining or voting against the motion as the agitated students kept demonstrating through the day. They managed to reach Parliament Square where they were not supposed to be.
While it’s certain that the students will have to pay higher fees from 2012, what is not certain is the way politics will shape up in the years ahead.
Thursdays vote will go a long way in shaping the political landscape, with fears of Liberal Democrats suffering grave consequences for being party to the decision.
Facing the dilemma of keeping the pledge or going ahead with the government decision of the 57 Lib Dem MP’s 29 either voted against or abstained from the vote.
It’s going to be a tough walk back to the next elections for Nick Clegg and his party. As Steve Richards, the chief political correspondent, The Independent wrote in his opinion piece on Tuesday: “There is no easy way through for a party that had one unequivocal policy at the election and another now. So much is obvious. The longer-term political consequences are nowhere near as straightforward.”
The party is facing severe criticism from its voters particularly the students with whom they signed a pledge to oppose the fee hike of any kind.
Looks like Clegg miscalculated the risk when he signed the no fee hike pledge and left no stone unturned to publicise it.
Its payback time now.
Alex Barker, Political correspondent FT writes in his blog Clegg knew the move was not going to work but he went ahead.
Despite Clegg making an earnest effort to clarify his position and pose a united front as a party. He is losing ground. As Richards mentioned at the talk at City University on December 2 that Irony is people can change their decision about politicians in the election and convey their message, politicians can’t do the same.