The Staggers 23 January 2013 What Merkel told Cameron about coalitions German Chancellor told Cameron before the 2010 general election: "The little party always gets smashed!" Print HTML I recently interviewed former Conservative education secretary Kenneth Baker (read his criticisms of Michael Gove here) whose former PA is one David Cameron. While discussing Cameron's political fortunes (Baker said his biggest mistake was failing to secure the boundary changes), he recalled a wonderful (and previously unpublished) anecdote that the Prime Minister once told him. Shortly before the last general election, Cameron visited Angela Merkel and, with a hung parliament looming, asked her what it was like to lead a coalition. She replied: "The little party always gets smashed!" Judging by the recent performance of Merkel's coalition partner, the Free Democrats*, (current poll rating: four per cent, down from 14.6 per cent at the 2009 election) and the Lib Dems (current poll rating: 12 per cent, down from 23 per cent at the election), it looks like the German Chancellor was right. *Although the Free Dems exceeded expectations in last weekend's regional election in Lower Saxony. › Friday Arts Diary Angela Merkel greets David Cameron upon his arrival at the Chancellery on June 7, 2012 in Berlin. Photograph: Getty Images. George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. From only £1 a week Subscribe More Related articles How can Britain become a nation of homeowners? The Tories are the zombie party: with an ageing, falling membership, still they stagger on to victory Will George Osborne soften the tax credit cuts for low-earners?