A poll conducted by Ipsos Mori has shown that the sudden surge in popularity of Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has not been replicated in the key marginal seat of the Clegg household. Pollsters say that this crucial, hard-to-reach vote may be tiring of his message, and party strategists are desperately considering how best to counter Mrs Clegg’s threat that the next time she sets eyes on her husband, she will be announcing ‘one or two changes that work for her’.
‘We had a clear agreement that politics would only ever be a hobby,’ fumed Mrs Clegg today. ‘I had my book club, Nick had his Liberal Democrats – that was the deal. It was fine when it was just him and Vince mucking about in the garage playing PM and chancellor a couple of times a week, but now he’s out gallivanting until all hours and the kids never see him. It’s completely gone to his head. It’s as if he thinks he’s Paddy Ashdown or something.’
Miriam González Durántez, who married Nick Clegg in 2000, said she began spotting changes in her husband soon after the first leaders’ debate. ‘I noticed that whenever we had a disagreement at home, he’d just sit there muttering to himself in a sing-song voice, ‘I agree with Nick’. Then afterwards Chris Huhne would appear to tell the kids that Nick had come out on top and I didn’t have the answers to the family’s problems.’
‘It’s got all the hallmarks of a mid-life crisis,’ she continued. ‘One day he came home with a tour bus and before you know it he’s playing dates all over the country and being followed around by groupies. Honestly, some of those voters screaming his name and chanting for proportional representation look barely legal. He’s deluding himself if he thinks he stands a chance with them.’
Although Mrs Clegg has previously taken a back seat in the election campaign, she is now determined to conduct policy debate on her own terms. ‘So what if I said I’d give up my job if Nick became Prime Minister? I also told him I’d play MP and researcher every Saturday night if United or Wednesday won the Premiership, but that won’t happen either. Now he’s got a new fantasy where I call him to Buckingham Palace and invite him to form a government. It’s sick. I tell you, he’s got some serious grovelling to do if he hopes to enter into any kind of coalition with me after May 6th.’