"Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, has privately authorised secret approaches to unhappy Blairites, trying to persuade them to join the Lib Dems instead of forming their own breakaway party.
One Lib Dem said: 'There is nothing imminent or even concrete, but there have been conversations with people on what you might call the moderate side of the Labour Party.
They look at the likely outcome of the election and worry about the direction the party could take.'
Another Lib Dem source said at least six Labour MPs had indicated that they could be prepared to leave the party. Earlier this week Daniel Clarke, the Labour candidate in Eastleigh, Hants, defected to the Lib Dems saying Labour was 'no longer committed to realising the dreams of people like me'." Now, I'm not saying it's likely we'll see mass defections after the election. But the post-Brown era certainly threatens to be a bloody one for Labour. Aside from all the usual post election wound-licking, we have a party which has been terminally factional, even in power, and which contains some of the dirtiest operators in politics. So it's little wonder if some Labour MPs are making contingency plans. In the meantime, count this as yet another embarrassing story for Brown.