Survival depends on the economy, Lib Dems told
The Liberal Democrats could suffer serious losses at the next general election if the Coalition Government fails to achieve economic recovery, the party's deputy leader conceded yesterday.
Speaking ahead of its annual conference, Simon Hughes said its electoral prospects – and the case for sharing power with the Conservatives – would depend on the health of the economy in 2015.
He said: "At the next election we will be judged by whether, relative to the rest of the Western developed world, we have steered our way through these difficult waters."
Mr Hughes said Nick Clegg had transformed the party's mood through his "robust" dealings with David Cameron over the summer, notably with his decision to veto Tory plans to cut the number of parliamentary constituencies.
He urged party activists not to be down-hearted by poor opinion poll ratings, pointing out that the next election was still more than two-and-a-half years away. "I have always taken the view that if, by the time of the next election, the economy is going in the right direction, unemployment is going down, employment is going up, growth is clearly happening, then the justification to go into coalition will have been made."
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...