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Page last updated at 07:12 GMT, Monday, 24 September 2012 08:12 UK

Lib Dems 'benign force' in coalition government

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It is more than two years since Nick Clegg stood alongside David Cameron in the the Downing Street Rose Garden and talked of the deeper relationship they planned between their two parties - a relationship that they said was in the interests of the country.

But looking at the reaction of their voters since and it is hard to see how its benefitted the party itself.

Peter Kellner of the polling organisation YouGov believes they have lost four million voters since the election, which may explain why some in the party are getting itchy feet.

And while at their party conference in Brighton they are prepared to consider with other options - as the Today programme's Sarah Montague found out when she went out round the conference yesterday.

Labour MP Jon Cruddas described the Liberal Democrats as a "benign force" in the coalition government.

But Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson argued: "Up and down the country there are a wide range of places where parties are working together."


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