Local elections 2012

Kiran Stacey

Nick Clegg hit the campaign trail for the last time yesterday, jetting to Edinburgh (where the party could lose half its seats), then down to Stockport (where it could lose control), and then catching the train over to his constituency home in Sheffield.

It’s a grinding schedule, especially as the Lib Dems prepare for another year of heavy local government losses as they continue to suffer for their decision to join the Tories in government. The party could end up losing councils across the country: Cardiff, Stockport, Burnley, Cheltenham, and in other places it could be wiped out altogether.

You might expect Clegg to be jaded, especially as he visits places he’s expected to lose. But if the Lib Dem leader was tired, he didn’t show it. Far from it, as he turned on the charm for voters in a chip shop on a grey suburban shopping precinct in Stockport, it became clear why voters had taken to him so enthusiastically in 2010