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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Five more years?

The Independent reports today that Nick Clegg has told the Liberal Democrats to prepare for another five years in power amid new evidence that voters are warming to the idea of coalition government.

They point to a ComRes poll for The Independent, which found that 34 per cent of people believe that Britain is better off with a coalition government than if the Conservatives or Labour had won the last general election outright. That is higher than the 29 per cent figure recorded last July:

The findings are a boost for the Lib Dems. Last night, a bullish Mr Clegg announced that he is setting up a team to prepare for negotiations with other parties in the event of another hung parliament after next year’s general election. The Deputy Prime Minister insists he is not taking voters for granted but is increasingly confident his party will remain in office and that Britain is entering an era of coalition government.

A senior Lib Dem source said: “We were well prepared last time but Nick wants us to be even better prepared this time. We have every intention of returning to government after the election to anchor the country in the centre ground.”

I was in Llandudno in 1981 when David Steel told representatives to go back to their constituencies and prepare for Government. It took 30 years to realise that dream. Let's hope that Nick Clegg does not repeat that mantra at the party conference this weekend.

There is a lot of work to do to persuade voters to give Liberal Democrats the chance to return to government. Although we need to bee prepared for all eventualities we should not take get too confident yet..
That speech will need careful wording. Certainly, "prepare for coalition" is a cue for voters to plump for our opponents.

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