by Stephen Tall on July 24, 2010
In just over an hour’s time, at 2pm, the Lib Dem leader is holding the first of his ‘Nick Clegg meets …’ open question-and-answer sessions outside of his own constituency. This isn’t a party event: this is a chance for voters to question the Deputy Prime Minister, and will be broadcast live on TV.
It’s being billed as follows:
An opportunity to ask the Deputy Prime Minister anything you like…
– What will the coalition government’s programme mean for me?
– How will the current spending review impact Abingdon ?
– What are the DPM’s plans to change politics?
But just as significant is the location: Abingdon, part of the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency – which Lib Dems will need little reminding was the scene of Evan Harris’s cruelly narrow general election defeat to the Tories’ right-wing Nicola Blackwood. Depending on the result of next May’s alternative vote referendum and the boundary review, it will be a top, top target for the Lib Dems in the 2015 general election.
It is no coincidence that Nick’s first major Deputy PM’s Q&A is taking place in a Lib Dem-Tory marginal: it’s a clear signal to the party that, however closely we might work with the Tories in government, we will be continuing to campaign against them in the country.