Alexander: The Lib Dem’s time has come

By Ian Dunt

Current political conditions mean the Lib Dems stand to gain several new MPs at the general election, the chief of staff to Nick Clegg has told politics.co.uk.

Speaking ahead of the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth this weekend, Danny Alexander said Labour had failed and people were seeing through the new Tory party.

“Labour is a complete failure as a government, as a party that achieves anything from a progressive point of view,” Mr Alexander said.

Listen to the full interview with Danny Alexander

“I think people look at the Conservative party and are completely unconvinced by a party that has no idea what it believes in, what motivates it, what its governing values and beliefs are. And that’s a huge opportunity.

“With the ideas, the people – Nick Clegg, Vince Cable – and the ambition, we will exploit that opportunity to the full at the next election.”

The party are expecting to pick up new MPs this election, as the expenses scandal and general disillusionment turns voters off the two main parties.

“I think one of the things you’ll see at our conference, I think the signature tune of the conference, if you like, is an enormous confidence that as a result of the political situation that we face and the distinctive policies we have, that we have a huge opportunity as a party to elect more Lib Dem MPs than we ever have before and to really change the future of British politics,” he added.

“People have a choice at the next election. Labour’s out of it. They’ve failed. Everyone knows they’ve failed. Do you want to have phoney change with the Conservative party or real substantial change with the Lib Dems?”

Mr Alexander is also chair of the Manifesto group, which draws up the party’s election manifesto after taking soundings and suggestions from fellow MPs and party members.

To read the full interview, click here

Party strategists are concerned at the Lib Dems’ stubbornly unmoved poll scores throughout the expenses scandal, which saw the party come out of the controversy relatively clean.

Deputy leader Vince Cable consistently scores well in surveys but his popularity refuses to translate into increased support for the party.