Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Nick Clegg's message for future voters

The Deputy Prime Minister with future voters Photo: Meridian

VIDEO: The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been in Oxford today - visiting a primary school and taking questions at a public meeting. He said he wanted people to recognise the 'positive contribution' that the Lib Dems are bringing to the coalition government. Our political correspondent Phil Hornby reports.

Phil Hornby's analysis of Nick Clegg's visit:

Nick Clegg hooted like an owl today and told a group of children he wished he'd turned up in his pyjamas. All in a day's work for a Deputy Prime Minister visiting Cutteslowe Primary School in Oxford to extol the virtues of the Government's pupil premium scheme.

It's one of those Lib Dem policies - he says he started talking about it a decade ago - which he wants his party to get the credit for, as their opinion poll ratings hover around 8 to 10 per cent.

In a general election, that rating would lead to a cull of Lib Dem MPs especially in the South. Traditionally, in many parts of our region, the Lib Dems have scooped up the anti-Conservative vote. Can that really happen again in 2015 after five years of coalition government?

In addition, there are more problems for the South's two most high-profile Lib Dem MPs. Eastleigh's Chris Huhne has a court case to fight, and Lewes' Norman Baker will see his constituency disappear because of the boundary changes.

So Nick Clegg is fighting hard to claim the credit for some of the Government's more popular policies - like taking lower-paid people out of tax, and, yes, the pupil premium.

At a time when many unhappy Tory MPs are urging David Cameron to "stop the Lib Dem tail wagging the Tory dog", the Lib Dem leader is determined to get all the credit he can for what the government is doing.

So today he sat reading a story to a room of children, keen to get the pupil premium message out. He's certainly not crowing - not yet- but in Oxford today the Deputy Prime Minister did hoot like an owl.