The electoral arithmetic is clear that even if there were an increase in the Lib Dem vote akin to the projections of some of the current polls, the Lib Dems would remain the third party in the House of Commons and could only attain power by doing a deal with another party.
I have always maintained that the Lib Dem membership would not accept any kind of deal with the Conservatives, and I find further evidence of this in an interview given recently by a Lib Dem candidate in a crucial marginal.
A couple of months back, the NW6 blog carried this interview with Ed Fordham, the Lib Dem candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn:
There’s a great deal of speculation at the moment on what would happen in the event of a hung Parliament. On his hopes for his party at the coming election, with a wry smile, Ed acknowledges, “the only answer I’m probably supposed to give is a Lib Dem majority. But if no party has a majority, then there will be intensive negotiations based, I hope, on policy, as in Scotland, where the Lib Dems hammered out an agreement with the Scottish Labour Party.”
But on a personal level, he makes it quite clear where he stands: “ABC – anyone but Conservatives.”
So there you have it. If you live in Hampstead and Kilburn and want Gordon Brown and Labour out of power, the only way to ensure that is to vote for Chris Philp, the Conservative candidate – as the Lib Dem candidate wants to do a deal with Labour and explicitly rules out supporting a minority Conservative administration in the event of a hung parliament.
And that message needs to be disseminated across the country as a whole, as David Cameron set out this morning: voting anything but Conservative risks allowing Gordon Brown to hold on to the reins of power. Voting Lib Dem is not a vote for change.