Clegg, however, has not been deterred from trying to set out the Lib Dem stance. He said: "I think, if Labour do come third in terms of the number of votes cast, then people would find it inexplicable that Gordon Brown himself could carry on as prime minister. As for who I'd work with, I've been very clear – much clearer than David Cameron and Gordon Brown – that I will work with anyone. I will work with a man from the moon, I don't care, with anyone who can deliver the greater fairness that I think people want." (1)So he might work with Brown as PM - presumably, Brown is marginally less alien than a man from the moon - even though this will appear inexplicable to the British people. Is this man following the example of his predecessor, Charles "Buckfast" Kennedy, and hitting the bottle?
Clegg seems to be buying into the Cameronian delusion that Britain operates a presidential system. Or perhaps he thinks that he is vested with the authority to tell other parties who they should have as leader.
Which begs the question - if the Lib Dems were to finish in third place, as is entirely possible, and Labour were to demand Clegg step down as a precondition to coalition, would allow himself to be hoist by his own petard?
1 - "Nick Clegg: I could work with Labour, just not Gordon Brown," by Patrick Wintour. Published ion The Guardian, 26th of April, 2010. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/26/nick-clegg-hung-parliament-labour)