Page last updated at 08:01 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 09:01 UK

Nick Clegg brands Labour and Conservatives 'desperate'

Nick Clegg outlined plans for a green economy during a visit to Cardiff

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has hit back at suggestions that a vote for his party would only benefit his rivals.

Polls suggested growing Lib Dem support after the first prime ministerial TV debate, leading Labour and the Tories to claim the party could not win power.

But Mr Clegg, spelling out his party's policies in Wales, said that such an attack was "what political parties always do when they get desperate".

He wants to cut government spending by £3.1bn to fund a "green jobs" scheme.

This includes bringing 250,000 empty UK homes back into use - including 10,000 in Wales - and providing grants and loans to improve the energy efficiency of homes and schools.

The party also wants to invest in dockyard areas to allow them to manufacture wind turbines for off-shore power generation and to guarantee internships or training for young people unemployed for 90 days.

However, much of the press conference was dominated by questions over the Lib Dems' election prospects.


Conservative leader David Cameron is warning that voting Lib Dem would lead to an ineffective hung Parliament or the country being "stuck" with Labour.

And ministers are seeking to emphasise that the choice for government is between Labour and the Tories, with analysis of opinion polls suggesting that even if the Lib Dems get the largest share of the vote, Labour could still win the most seats.

But Mr Clegg told Monday's briefing the election campaign had brought a new "fluidity" to politics and that growing numbers of people were considering voting differently.

"To... repeat this tired old claim that a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for another party, misses, in my view, the blindingly obvious which says that a vote for the Liberal Democrats is exactly what it says on the tin - it is a vote for the Liberal Democrats."

He pointed to his party's growing influence on councils in major cities outside London, saying Labour was "in effect non-existent" in much of the south and that the Tories had little support in many inner cities.

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