Martin Bright

Labour Cheery About Lib Dem Surge

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Labour's press conference this morning was a surprisingly cheery affair. Peter Mandelson was very much in control of proceedings and the media mob was clearly feeling benevolent on a lovely spring morning.

I'm not sure it was entirely wise to run a spoof post-election news broadcast on the double-dip recession caused by Tory economic policy. It felt too much like the Labour high command has already accepted the inevitable.

However, the focus wasn't really on the Tories but the Lib Dem surge. The Labour Party has the right strategy on this: hug them close and emphasise how much common ground there is. They know the Tories stand to lose most from a Lib Dem poll boost.

Patrick Wintour of the Guardian asked what would happen in the event of an electoral anomaly that put Labour third in the popular vote, but with the largest number of seats.

I managed to sneak in the final question and asked whether any of Mandelson, Brown and Darling would serve in a Nick Clegg-led coalition government.

The Prime Minister said he would not speculate, but let the people decide and the other two fell into line so I guess he's leaving the option open. So, it's over to you Mr Clegg.