Nick Clegg received a standing ovation and his speech went down well. He joked that one benefit of being in coalition with the Tories was "that he could no longer be accused of being the poshest man in the room" and that "Eric Pickles was the only Cabinet minister you can see on Google Earth." His serious message was that they were making the country "fairer, freer, greener."
But the star of the show was Tim Farron, a last minute stand-in for Charlie Kennedy whose train—the organiser said—had been delayed. Farron caught the conference’s mood about the coalition. He joked that he had one thing in common with his Tory colleagues, "I joined my party because of Margaret Thatcher" and that, "Now Nick is deputy PM and a few yards down the corridor from Andy Coulson he doesn’t need to check his own phone messages".