The deal negotiated with the Conservatives has been unanimously backed by the Liberal Democrat MPs. It’s also been backed by the party’s Federal Executive with just one dissenting voice in the end.
Both decisions were significantly helped by not only the successes of the party’s negotiating team but also by very impressive and persuasive appearances by Nick Clegg.
Talking shortly afterwards, Nick Clegg said,
I can your hopes and your aspirations with me … I want to assure you that I wouldn’t have entered into this agreement unless I was genuinely convinced that it offers a unique opportunity to deliver the kind of changes you and I believe in … Fairness [will be] at the heart of everything we do.
There will be a special conference on Sunday (in Birmingham I believe) which will be addressed by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Earlier in the evening I did a tally of Liberal Democrat bloggers who had, so far, expressed a view for or against the deal with the Conservatives. At that time 76% of those who had expressed a view agreed with it. As more details emerge, it’s likely there will be plenty in the deal that Liberal Democrats like, including on tax fairness, education and green matters. On constitutional reform getting a referendum on AV for the House of Commons will be further sweetened by getting an elected House of Lords.
So far, the complaints about details I’ve heard have just about all been from Conservatives – which is a good sign.
More details to come through the day.