Chris Rennard profiled in Total Politics: “Think about the swings and roundabouts over the years”

Over at Total Politics Iain Dale interviews former Lib Dem Chief Executive Lord Rennard about his views on the local elections, The AV referendum and Coalition government.

Here’s a flavour:

Bernard Jenkin said you could imagine a Lib Dem enclave within the Conservative Party at some point. It’s happened before, hasn’t it? Do you think that that’s at all possible or likely?

I think that’s just trouble-making by someone who is very anti-coalition. I don’t think in the 21st century things will go back to the way they were in the 1920s or 1930s.

Don’t you think this time it just feels a little bit different? There is a visceral hatred out there for some of the things that Liberal Democrats have done, particularly tuition fees.

I don’t accept the premise that there’s necessarily any demise. I’d even say from these local election results that many of our MPs are very popular, very strong individuals. I think it will be quite wrong to assume there will be a drop in the Lib Dems one year after the general election, when the next general election is, almost certainly in my view, four years away. Just think about the swings and roundabouts over the years. To assume one year on from a general election, what will happen in four years, is, as they would say, a mug’s game.

You have worked with five Liberal or Liberal Democrat leaders. Which leader surprised you when they were elected?

Actually I knew all of them before they were leader, so when they became leader there wasn’t anything hugely surprising to me. Ming [Campbell] was one perhaps never fully tested because he never fought a general election campaign. Perhaps Ming will always feel that it would have been better for him if had have fought a general election campaign. I thought there was going to be an election in 2007. Had there been one, I am personally convinced we would have done well. Had there been an election in 2007, David Cameron would be an ex-party leader.

To find out Chris’s views on the future of the Liberal Democrats, as well as his sporting hero, and the most embarrassing song on his iPod, read on.

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