Danny Alexander has said the Liberal Democrats' poor performance at the Newark by-election was a "deeply disappointing result," but was due to "tactical voting" from the party's supporters.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury was asked why the party had slumped from a 20% share of the vote to just 2%, a result that saw them lose their deposit.
He put some of the decline down to voters not wanting to see Ukip win the seat from the Tories, saying: "The last thing our supporters wanted was to be represented by Ukip in the House of Commons, therefore there was a lot of switching to other parties."
More top news
Father of drowned Syrian boy Alan Kurdi says he is comforted by impact of his son's death, as hia family is reportedly accepted by Canada.
A year ago the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan's decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has backed a free vote for MPs on the issue.