Taken from this week’s New Statesman leader column, here’s our take on what’s at stake for the Liberal Democrats ahead of the Liverpool party conference:
Mr Clegg can rest assured that, minor skirmishes aside, this year’s party conference is not likely to be the occasion for a full-scale revolt against his leadership or against the coalition – not least because the party continues to enjoy its new-found position of power.
But when the cuts set in after the Comprehensive Spending Review in October – and with the party expected to be humiliated at the local elections next May – Lib Dem ministers will need to redouble their efforts to assert themselves in Whitehall. If they cannot, then next year’s conference promises to be the real reckoning.
Assert themselves in Whitehall? Perhaps that was what Vince Cable was attempting to do this week.
Read the full leader here.