Lib Dem election hopes
May's elections will provide an indicator of public reaction to the recent spending cuts
It's a fascinating set of elections this May. It is the first time we have had a coalition government for 60 years and we have the largest budget deficit since the Second World War. It's a heady mix.
As central government cracks down hard on our councils, how will it play out at the ballot box? Whose fault will it be perceived to be? The Conservatives blame Labour for "getting us into this mess". Labour blames the Lib Dems for 'supporting the cuts' and the Lib Dems believe they're taking the responsibility of government seriously.
Support for the Lib Dems has waned since their pre-general election high point last year.
Baroness Ros Scott
Latest polls are showing them at a 16% share of the vote, after a little bounce recently, but it's still way down from the 22% share they actually won last year.
I asked the Lib Dem peer Baroness Ros Scott whether they are going to be the whipping boys of this set of council elections. She hopes that candidates will be judged on their local record.
"I hope it's fought on how good a candidate is and how good the job is at a local level. I also hope we can get the message across that we took responsibility when we could have walked away from government.
"We are making a difference in government on all sorts of issues like the raising of the income tax threshold, EMA concessions and we'll hear next week about pensions," the former President of the party told me.
"We are in coalition but part of that is that our starting position is different. We have no ideological drive towards smaller government like the Conservatives but we do believe very strongly that we have got to tackle the deficit."
The Suffolk peer is surprisingly confident that Lib Dem support will hold up and they won't be punished for their U-turn on tuition fees or the splits in their ranks over the cuts at a local level.
"It is possible some people might sit on their hands but it's also possible that others who didn't think we were a serious offer before will take us seriously as a party now. And that could be especially true of Conservative voters."
"This is one of those elections where anything could happen," - a sentiment with which I can only concur.