BBC BLOGS - See Also
« Previous | Main | Next »

Daily View: Nick Clegg's coalition plans

Clare Spencer | 08:39 UK time, Monday, 26 April 2010

Commentators discuss Nick Clegg's announcement on the Andrew Marr show and in the Sunday Times that he wouldn't go into coalition with a party which didn't win the popular vote.

Nick CleggSimon Carr says in the Independent that Nick Clegg was dodging the question:

"Marr asked what he, Clegg, would do if Labour changed the leader after the election? He didn't say: 'I repeat, if the party lost the popular vote, I wouldn't keep it in office.' He said instead: 'Here we get into the 'what-if' territory that I find very difficult'. And he went back to earlier ideas of collaborating with the party that would deliver Liberal Democrat manifesto commitments. But he couldn't do that with Labour polling fewer votes than the Tories because he ruled it out. He'll find a way round it. And we'll have a new name for saying one thing and doing another: Clegg dancing."

Matthew D'Ancona comments in the Sunday Telegraph that a Lib-Con deal is a real possibility:

"It is too easily forgotten that Cameron spent much of his first two years as leader wooing Lib Dems, calling for what he described in a speech in March 2007 as a 'new Liberal-Conservative consensus'. True, there is no great warmth between Clegg and Cameron, but nor is there a froideur that would make collaboration impossible. They are, to an almost comic extent, cut from the same cloth. They are young Englishmen raised for leadership, smooth collaboration and the challenges of modernity."

In the Daily Mail Andrew Pierce responds to Mr Clegg's description of the Conservatives "nutter" allies in the European parliament with a claim that the Lib Dems' allies are also "nutters":

"Just take a look at some of Clegg's cohorts in the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Its leader, the Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, wants to abolish the nation state. He wants a 'United States of Europe' - taking over responsibility for justice and security policy, taxation, oh, and creating a European army. Then there are those nice homespun folk in the Feminist Initiative from Sweden, who had an MEP until last year. One of the party's policies is to abolish marriage and create 'genderneutral' names - whatever those may be."

Jackie Ashley argues in the Guardian that a Lib-Con coalition would not be sustainable:

"The most Eurosceptic of the main parties yoked together with the most Euro-enthusiastic? The great defenders of Trident in alliance with their opposites? Anti-immigration rhetoric striding arm in arm with pro-migrant policies? Cut-now, help-the-rich economics in alliance with Lib Dem redistributionists? "Admittedly, there are some areas of common ground. If Cameron's Big Society means anything, it is not so far from the Lib Dems' traditional localism. Both parties have greened their economic thinking; both are critical of Labour over civil liberties; both think the past 13 years have been too statist and centralist. But overall, the yawning gaps between Cameron and Clegg would make this a truly bizarre marriage."

Channel 4 News' Gary Gibbon challenges the assumption that Nick Clegg meant he would go into coalition with the Conservatives:

"I spoke to a Lib Dem MP close to the leadership last week who said, admittedly when the Lib Dems were riding a bit higher in the polls, that Nick Clegg would have a better claim to the top job of PM if he entered into a deal with Labour in third place in the share of the vote and him in second. Look at the quote and you might think that is exactly what Nick Clegg is himself thinking."

Links in full

BBC NewsBBC | Andrew Marr Show
TimesNyta Mann | Sunday Times | Nick Clegg bids for No 10 as price for Labour pact
Matthew D'Ancona | Telegraph | A Lib-Con deal is a real possibility
MailAndrew Pierce | Daily Mail | Nutters, Nick Clegg? They're closer than you think
IndependentSimon Carr | Independent | Clegg dodges the question
GuardianJackie Ashley | Guardian | A Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is not sustainable
Channel 4Gary Gibbon | Channel 4 News | Clegg rules out propping up 3rd place Brown

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.