Confusion reigns over Lib Dem hung parliament tactic

Clegg may concentrate on policy achievements, the report suggests
Clegg may concentrate on policy achievements, the report suggests

By staff

The Liberal Democrat response to a hung parliament remains as mysterious as ever today, after the party rejected reports of Nick Clegg's tactic.

The Guardian reported this morning that Mr Clegg would rule himself out of a coalition if he holds the balance of power in a hung parliament.

Instead, the Lib Dem leader would allow either the Conservatives or Labour to pass a Queen's Speech if they commit themselves to four areas of reform: a pupil premium for disadvantaged children, Lib Dem plans for tax reform, rebalancing the economy away from the banking sector and towards green industry and more radical electoral reform than the programme currently on offer by Labour.

The tactic would allow Mr Clegg to bat away questions about a hung parliament through the general election campaign and ensure the Liberals did not become the victims of the majority partner in a hung parliament.

Some Lib Dem MPs are concerned the party could become tainted by association with a majority partner over whom they have little control. They are also concerned the larger party could time a second election for whenever suits them best.

The plan would act as a substitute for Lib Dem MPs taking Cabinet posts.

But a Lib Dem spokesman today insisted the party had not planned for "hypothetical situations".

The party would have to get any formal deal past its members.


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