Coalition 'will survive AV vote'
Business Secretary Vince Cable said today he was "pretty sure" the coalition Government would survive, even if the Liberal Democrats fail to secure reform of the voting system for Westminster elections.
Mr Cable said his party would take a "mature" approach to the forthcoming referendum on introduction of the alternative vote (AV), although he acknowledged that there was "a lot at stake" for them.
With many Lib Dem activists unhappy about the direction their partnership with the Conservatives is taking, securing voting reform - which would boost their number of seats in the Commons - is now seen as crucial by some in the party if they are to carry on in coalition.
But with the outcome of the referendum on May 5 looking far from certain, Mr Cable insisted that he expected the party to continue in government, even if they did not get the change they wanted.
"I am pretty sure it would. But there is a lot at stake and that is why we are fighting hard for it," he told the BBC1 Politics Show.
He added: "We are a grown-up party, we have not thrown our toys out of the pram because things happen we disagree with. I think you will find the approach to this whole thing is a very mature one."
He also rejected suggestions that Nick Clegg had become too close to the Conservatives after the Lib Dem leader was caught on mic telling David Cameron that it would be difficult to find anything "to bloody disagree on" at the next election.
"We do have disagreements with the Conservatives but we have dealt with them in a businesslike way. Nick and I argue our corner in the coalition, while remaining strong partners within the coalition," he said.
"I think people expected this whole thing would unravel within a few months. It hasn't. You have got one of the strongest governments this country has ever had."
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 4 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Peaches Geldof cause of death: Socialite had taken fatal dose of heroin after years of addiction, inquest concludes
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...