Summit: Clegg effect won’t last, says Portillo

The recent TV leaders’ debate has had a “historic effect” on politics but the resulting support for Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg may not last, according to Rt Hon Michael Portillo.
Clegg was hailed as the winner of the TV debate in three instant polls after the leaders of the three main political parties went head to head on Thursday.
Speaking at the Travolution Summit 2010, Portillo said: “There is no telling whether what has happened to Nick Clegg will continue – it could receed or snowball. My guess is it will receed but it won’t go back to the beginning.”
Portillo predicted the UK would have a coalition government after the forthcoming election and Gordon Brown would remain as prime minister.
The recession has not been an election issue because the public does not want to hear about it, he said.
He said many consumers had not yet been affected by the downturn. “If they kept their job, they would have had a pay rise in line with predicted inflation and mortgage interest rates were low. At the end of 2009 many people felt better off than they did at the start of the year.”

We will look back on this as a period of naivity when politians thought they’d be able to choose the moment they tackle the deficit.”

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