PR not a precondition for Clegg

By Sam Dale

Nick Clegg has said electoral reform is not a “precondition” for entering into a coalition.

He made the comments after a leaked document to the Sun newspaper revealed Lib Dem demands in a hung parliament include electoral reform and six cabinet positions.

In an interview with GMTV, Mr Clegg responded: “I have never talked about preconditions. I have talked about the things I want to fight for, the changes I want to fight for. Yes I want a new political system, because the old one is bust, a two party stitch up.

“I have always said that if you want to have new politics in this county one of the things you want is a system where politicians have to listen to you all the time.

“Not as, in the case at the moment, where you get just 20 or 30% of the vote in a constituency and ignore you the rest of the time.”

The Liberal Democrat leader’s claim opens the door to a Conservative coalition with polls indicating a hung parliament.

Despite the Lib Dems polling between 25 and 30% of the vote the third party may only obtain 15% of the seats in the House of Commons.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has already rejected any voting reforms.

Today Mr Clegg also claimed Tory cuts in a minority administration or slim majority could be dangerous for Britain.

“I think that’s a recipe for profound political and social tensions,” he said. “Do they really think they can turn their noses up at the result next Thursday and say they have a right to govern regardless?” said Mr Clegg.

On electoral reform he added: “I’ve never talked about preconditions,” Mr Clegg said. “Of course it’s a vital element to the renewal of politics that we need in broad terms. That’s all I’ve said.”