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Clegg fears Liberal Democrats will split if he backs minority Tory government

6a00d83451b31c69e20120a7a68c93970b-800wi In his Saturday column Peter Oborne lists three reasons why Nick Clegg is likely to manoeuvre his party into a deal with Labour if there is a hung parliament:

  1. "Clegg has discovered (rather to his personal dismay) that most of his party regard any kind of agreement with the Conservatives with disgust. This feeling is so overwhelming that Clegg fears that a Lib/Tory pact might actually split his party.
  2. Second, Clegg believes LibDem and Tory policies are utterly incompatible. The key 'red line' is the economy. On the one hand, the LibDems are bitterly opposed to cutting spending immediately after the election, fearing that it would imperil Britain's fragile economic recovery.  However, Tory shadow chancellor George Osborne has already said he would slash the out-of-control budget deficit, starting with an emergency budget within weeks of the election.
  3. Third, the LibDems have been seduced by Brown's clever promise of electoral reform. The Prime Minister has long been opposed to proportional representation (because he believes it leads to weak governments), but he has softened his stance in a cynical ploy to cosy up to the LibDems."

Tim Montgomerie

> The Liberal Democrats set out their four demands for keeping a minority government in power