Clegg smooths City fears of election deadlock

Matt Dickinson,Pa
Wednesday 03 March 2010 08:01
Comments

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg moved today to reassure investors fretting over the prospect of political stalemate in Britain following the upcoming general election.

The pound slumped to its lowest level for 10 months against the dollar on Monday after polls suggested a hung parliament was likely, raising fears of a delay in tackling the UK's debt mountain.

Mr Clegg's party would likely have a pivotal role if no overall victor emerged and he used an interview with the Financial Times to say the Lib Dems would act as the "guarantors of fiscal stability".

He said: "I think people are entitled to expect a sensible, stable government at a time when the country is facing very, very acute choices.

"We take what the markets are worrying about immensely seriously.

"We will not take any risk with the creditworthiness of the economy."

Mr Clegg said in the event of a hung parliament he would try to find a working arrangement with a minority administration led by David Cameron or Gordon Brown.

"I think stability is so important that people are entitled to expect they are not going to be constantly asked to go back on a dreary Thursday afternoon to vote again and again and again," he added.

The pound showed little sign of a revival yesterday after Monday's fall which took sterling down through the psychologically important 1.50 barrier, to 1.478 dollars.

Pressure has been brought to bear on the currency amid fears in the City that a hung parliament will produce a weak government that will be unable to take the action needed to reduce the UK's £178 billion deficit.

Experts have warned that sterling will remain on the rack until the general election.

An opinion poll on Sunday put the Tories lead over Labour at just two points, down from double figures just months ago.

The latest daily poll for The Sun today showed the Conservative lead down to 5%.

The YouGov survey put Tories on 38% (down one point since yesterday), Labour on 33% (up one point) and Liberal Democrats on 16% (down one).

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in