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Q&A: WHAT DO THE LIB DEMS WANT?

Q. WHATARE THE LIB DEMS ASKING FOR?

A. Nick Clegg says consensus on how to deal with the national budget deficit and electoral reform are the biggest issues to be ironed out before he will agree to a power sharing deal.

Q. WHAT TYPE OF ELECTORAL REFORM?

A. Clegg and the Lib Dems are both long-term admirers of proportional representation. This is different from the current first-past-the-post system in that votes are split more evenly and power is more diluted between the parties.

Q. WILL CAMERON GIVE CLEGG WHAT HE WANTS?

A. Cameron has agreed to meet Clegg half way by offering a referendum on a system called “alternative vote”, a watered down version of the system the Lib Dems would like.

Q. WOULD IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?

A. Clegg would have picked up an extra 22 seats at the general election under this system – still fewer than his party was aiming for prior to the vote.

Q. IS LABOUR OFFERING ANYTHING BETTER?

A. Labour is offering to push through AV without a public vote and put the Lib Dems favoured system, single transferable vote, to a referendum.

Q. HOW WOULD THIS HAVE AFFECTED THE ELECTION?

A. The Lib Dems would have tripled their number of seats to 162.