Peter Hoskin

Clegg binds himself closer to the coalition (for now)

Clegg binds himself closer to the coalition (for now)
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The quotes emerging, in advance, from Nick Clegg's Westminster Hour interview are a mix of the unsurprising and the intriguing. To the first category belongs his claim that "parties in government tend to get a dip in their popularity" – I mean, he's hardly going to say that the Lib Dems' decline in the polls is a disaster, is he? But this, for instance, belongs firmly in the second category:

"If we weren't in a coalition now I don't think people would take any notice of the Liberal Democrats ....  If we were in a coalition with Labour, arguably our identity crisis would be even worse."

Clegg does dilute the effect by adding that there's "no question" of a non-aggression pact with the Tories at the next election. But, then again, there's always time for that to change – and it may need to, if the current poll ratings persist and certain Lib Dems want to retain their seats.