"Nick Clegg I think benefits from being the new kid on the block. With novelty comes curiosity, but also with novelty will come, now, increased scrutiny."
And he signalled that such Lib Dem policies as supporting Britain joining the euro, scrapping the
Trident nuclear deterrent and offering an amnesty to illegal immigrants were among those which would not stand up to scrutiny:
"I think the greater degree of scrutiny these policies have, the more that people will realise that while Nick Clegg is a very attractive individual in many ways, the policies of his party are outside the mainstream and a little bit eccentric - not necessarily what you would want at a time of crisis and difficulty.
"Nick Clegg can play the role of the sparky and feisty outsider, the new kid on the block – and he plays that with a degree of assurance – but if you are making a decision about who the prime minister is, it is more important to weigh in the balance policy decisions."