BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Page last updated at 21:24 GMT, Sunday, 20 March 2011

Lessons of history

While opponents of the coalition will be marching through central London, a group of political historians will gather not far from Westminster to attend a seminar on the Liberal experience of coalition governments.

David Lloyd George
Lloyd George was in coalition with the Conservatives

Interest in coalitions has been revived following Nick Clegg's decision to take his party into government with David Cameron's Conservatives.

But in the first half of the 20th century, coalitions of one sort or another were a common occurrence.

But the experience of the Liberals in coalition was often unhappy.

Carolyn talked to two contributors to the seminar, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, author of 'The coalition and the constitution', and Alun Wyburn-Powell, biographer of the former Liberal leader, Clement Davies.

Vernon Bogdanor argues that coalitions have been bad for Liberals because they cause splits.

video and audio news
Coalitions discussion

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific