Is a bit of difference more acceptable to both parties?
With the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham the most extraordinary thing, I’d suggest, is that there is little speculation about Clegg’s leadership.
There is, however, an under-current amongst delegates here that in the early days of the coalition that their leader did get too close and the perception persists.
Having said that it less than six months ago since the famous “microphone gaffe”, when Nick Clegg wondered how they’d do election TV debates because him and Dave appeared so close. That is now clearly from a different political era.
No longer, as Steve Richard observed in the Indy, does Nick cheer Cameron at PMQs “with the enthusiasm of a true believer and jeer Labour with as much passion as any Tory. Now he sits impassively â€“ a wise impassivity.”
If there was a positive to come out of the referendum debacle, I’d suggest, is that we have much more business-like relations between the coalition partners. This is a different form of government and I think that that is widely understood.
The Tories seek to be distinctive stressing the policies that appeal to their supporters while the LDs do the same.
Where things can get tricky is where differences give the appearance of being contrived to please the party faithful