Will the Conservative and Reform parties merge or closely cooperate before the end of the next election?
  • Will the UK Conservative and Reform parties merge or cooperate closely before the end of the next election?

  • Criteria and examples:

    • During the next election campaign, if parties withdraw candidates or selectively place candidates to support each other winning more votes, this resolves YES

    • If there is a (semi-)formal agreement to support each others' activities in parliament during this cycle, resolves YES

      • Examples:

        • YES: A formal agreement is established to support each others actions or vote in the same way

        • YES: The leadership announce an agreement to support each others actions or votes in the same way (the intention here is to avoid being hung up on having a 'signed piece of paper')

        • YES: The leadership of the parties announce an intention to jointly contest the next election

      • Exceptions

        • Does not include general tendency to vote in the same way due to shared politics

        • Does not include individual cases of member cooperation on actions, nor a general trend of the same without some kind of official acknowledgement

    • Defection/merging:

      • If in the context of either party ceasing to exist: if more than 33% of MPs from the ceasing party join the other party, resolves YES, otherwise NO

      • If both parties continue to exist, but a majority (more than 50% of MPs) join the other party, resolves YES

Resolution time:

  • I will resolve early if either party ceases to exist. YES if the defection/merging criteria above are met, NO otherwise.

  • I will resolve YES early if there is a mass defection meeting the defection/merging criteria above. This will also count if cumulative defections over time meet the criteria.

  • Otherwise it will end on the day the results of the next general election are announced. It may potentially be delayed if there are rumours of collaboration during the election campaign that are yet to be confirmed.

    Very happy to discuss and further specify resolution criteria

    I won't trade in this market

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Can you be more precise on "if parties withdraw candidates"? If it's just 2 candidates in the entire UK, does that count? What if individual candidates make the decision to drop out, and not their parties?

Good question! I think in a similar manner to the criteria surrounding cooperation during the parliament, it would have to be a semi-formal set of decisions by the party leadership, rather than a rogue action from a single (or few) MPs. I think that even if it's only a small amount of MPs or seats, it would resolve YES, in the case that this was part of an announced effort for the parties to support each others' election chances or to work together in some seats to keep Labour etc from winning.

Inspired by your question, I have made a multi-answer question. I found myself trying to work out which of your individual criteria is most likely, so I thought splitting them out could be fun.


What if one party unilaterally decides not to run candidates against the other in some constituencies (like Reform did in 2019 I think)?

That counts as YES

With Reform only having 5 MPs, if 3 of them switch to Conservative before the next general election then the question will resolve YES?

Yes, I think so.

This seems like the most likely path to YES resolution to me, but I don't think it would feel like a merger if the 3 defections happened one at a time.

I think that's fair. I could change it to 4 defections required Reform->Tories for resolve YES in that special case? Since Reform could still continue to exist with 1 MP, but effectively fail to be their own political force apart from the Tories.

(I think to some extent that's also true if 3/5 MPs defected, too, but I understand it feels a bit unsatisfying/incomplete)

Och, I mean it's your market, so I don't want my opinions to be given much weight, but I think even if you had 4 defections one-by-one that doesn't feel like "merge or closely cooperate". But also, it depends who they are. Realistically, Reform UK is Richard Tice and Nigel Farage. If one or both of those two gave their support to the Tories I think there's a strong case that a merge has happened. But if all 4 of the non-Farage MPs join the Tories, while Tice and Farage remain in Reform, I'm not sure I'd call it a merge.