Clegg Coup: How Britain Got Its First Two-Party Government in Half a Century by Jasper Gerard
Was it a thin fluke? After waiting in the wings for almost a century, the Liberal Democrats headed by Nick Clegg became kingmakers of the 2010 Election. How did Clegg wring this historical success from golden boy David Cameron? How did he convince the media that only has time for two-party politics? Are the Tories in charge anyway, or is there really a Coalition? Where are the feuds and rotting corpses buried? How does a Coalition operate? With similar shares in votes for the three parties, what voter change underpinned this? Will the 21st century once again be Liberal? In this authoritative and entertainingly written study based on private access to all key players, journalist and Liberal Democrat insider Jasper Gerard provides a fascinating account of the journey that started in 2007 with associates such as David Laws and Vince Cable. In three years, one man was transported from being 'Nick Who?', a man apparently unrecognised in his local shop, to the most important most popular party leader since Churchill, while also seeing his effigy strung up in Parliament Square. The first major assessment of Liberalism in 80 years, here is the untold story of its Phoenix-like revival. And how have two political traditions with an enmity stretching back centuries found working with each other with friendships made and sometimes broken?