Clegg: Coalition risk can boost Lib Dem election hopes

Nick Clegg believes his party's decision to form a coalition government with the Conservatives can help the Liberal Democrats win at the next general election.

The Deputy Prime Minister is to insist that the risk can pay off at local elections in May and the next general election in 2015.

There is a myth that governing together, in coalition, diminishes the ability of the smaller party to beat the bigger party. The idea that, in Tory facing seats the Liberal Democrats will find it impossible to distinguish our record, our values, from theirs.

But that myth has been utterly confounded. The opposite is true. The longer you stand side-by-side with your opponents the easier your differences are to see. We don't lose our identity by governing with the Conservatives. The comparison helps the British people understand who we are.

In the days after the by-election, even though we won, I was asked how I feel about our party no longer being a magnet for the protest vote.

No longer the automatic 'none-of-the-above' choice. But the truth is: the Liberal Democrats are not a party of protest, we are a party of change. A party that is for things, not simply against things.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

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Lib Dems 'not a protest party'

Nick Clegg has insisted the Liberal Democrats are no longer a party of protest as he urged activists to "attack" the Tories.