The basic maths of government: the outlook for the Lib Dems

Today’s Observer includes these comments from myself on the outlook for the Liberal Democrats:

The basic maths of government are very simple: 303 Conservative MPs and 55 Liberal Democrat ones. It is inevitable (and indeed democratic) therefore that any coalition between the parties involves a significant number of Conservative policies being enacted. It is the inevitable downside of taking the opportunity actually to wield a share of power and get a slug of Lib Dem policies through too.

The list is good โ€“ helping the least well-off of pupils with the pupil premium, creating green jobs with the Green Investment Bank and taking millions of the lowest-paid out of income tax with the ยฃ10,000 income tax allowance, just for starters.

The challenge for the party is to turn the list into a compelling political message that makes people who do not follow the detail of politics feel that getting some Lib Dem policies is better than having none.

And if you missed it, you can watch Newsnight’s preview of party conference, including a short interview with myself and featuring chocolate, but alas not together, over on iPlayer.


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