LibLink: Nick Clegg’s demands for a post-election deal

As reported in today’s Independent, Nick Clegg has been talking about what the Lib Dems would do in the event of a hung parliament, and flags up some of the announcements due at the party’s spring conference in Birmingham this weekend.

the Liberal Democrat leader also revealed that his party would try to calm jitters in the financial markets about a hung parliament by calling for a £10bn “repayment” to cut Britain’s public deficit. It would be found from £15bn of spending cuts to be outlined this month.

Mr Clegg declined to speculate whether his party would lean towards Labour or the Tories and insisted that all options, including a formal coalition with Liberal Democrats sitting in the Cabinet, were possible. He said he would talk to the party that won the “strongest mandate”.

Ideas for savings already floated by Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury spokesman, include a freeze on the public sector pay bill; scrapping bonuses for civil servants; a review of public sector pensions; abolishing quangos; axeing the renewal of the Trident nuclear missile programme, identity cards and a computerised system for NHS patient records. Some of these will become official party policy before the Budget.

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  • Foregone Conclusion 11th Mar '10 - 9:18am

    “FFS please rule out a coalition, there is no upside for us, it is a lose-lose situation.”

    Really? So there’s no possible good to be gained from a coalition, like seeming relevant (and let’s not forget, our perceived irrelevance is our greatest disability)? Or gaining experience for our leading MPs? And to put it another way, if we really feel that it would be better for the country if, say, Vince Cable was Chancellor, wouldn’t we be incredibly self-serving to stand aloof? I’m not saying that we SHOULD go into a coalition – I’m just saying that we shouldn’t rule it out.

  • I really hope that Nick doesn’t even think of supporting a weak Labour or Conservative government unless his full list of demands is met. A lot of potential and current LibDem supporters don’t want either of the two main parties getting into power, and help from us without substantial steps towards STV would be seen by many as a betrayal – heck, the Digital Economy bill amendments have ruffled enough feathers already. I do like Vince’s proposed cuts, though – getting rid of Trident and the ID card scheme especially should be firm party policies, if they aren’t already.

  • Well, great! I suspected they were, but the main piece did seem to suggest that they were just suggestions, and only some would become party policy, a bit misleading.

  • axeing the renewal of the Trident nuclear missile programme.

    That will be a no no for the Tory party, so would it be accept all of these, or will Nick/the Party accept just some of them?

    I do not see there being a hung parliament as YouGov seem to show, as the Lib/Dem vote will increase above the 16/18%, while reducing the Labour vote. So one thing the Lib/Dems MUST not do is fall out on this subject, but carry the fight to increse their vote.

  • Co-operation – yes.

    Co-alition – only for something as a game-changer. For me, that would be a national governement with a fixed term of two years to agree how we sort out the econmoic mess, enact STV, then disolve and reform under the new rules.

  • Stephen Tall & others have done a good job of laying out the risks of coalition, what they dont consider are the risks of “cooperation”. The biggest risk is that our “partners” simply pretend to be doing whatever they have agreed to do while preparing to call an election whenever they think they have a chance.
    There are opportunities & risks in whichever course we take, there are no safe options.

  • Nice article in the Independent, but sadly there’s also the below:

  • Perhaps the media should be discussing with the two larger parties how they would act should there be a hung Parliament. New Labour and the Conservatives have a lot in common, maybe they might go into a coaition as a National Government. If you listened to Vince on Sunday it was clear he didn’t rule out a coalition, however unlike the other parties it will not be the decision of the Libdem leaders alone.

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