U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will begin a weekly half-hour phone-in radio show in an effort to reconnect with voters as his opinion-poll ratings slump.
Clegg will broadcast every Thursday, starting Jan. 10 at 9 a.m., as part of the Nick Ferrari program on London’s LBC station. No other member of the government has a regular broadcasting slot, partly because of laws requiring political balance from radio and television stations.
The deputy prime minister has been the subject of personal abuse since he took his Liberal Democrat party into coalition with David Cameron’s Conservatives in 2010. He made a broadcast last year apologizing for breaking a pre-election promise not to vote for an increase in university tuition fees. Satirists quickly set it to music and released it as a single.
“I don’t think you can do the right thing in government unless you keep in touch with how people are thinking and feeling,” Clegg told LBC today.
Clegg and Cameron will speak at a joint news conference in London today to highlight their shared agenda as they publish a Mid-Term Review summing up coalition achievements since 2010 and announcing new policies.
A YouGov Plc poll in yesterday’s Sunday Times put the Liberal Democrats on 10 percent, compared with a 23 percent share of the vote at the general election. It found 74 percent of adults said Clegg was doing a bad job as Liberal Democrat leader, against 18 percent who said he was doing well, the worst rating of the three main party leaders. The survey questioned 1,988 adults between Jan. 3 and Jan. 4.