"Whichever party has the strongest mandate from the British people, it seems to me obvious in a democracy they have the first right to seek to try and govern, either on their own or with others.”
On Conservative Home Jonathan Isaby suggests that Clegg would find it impossible to sell coalition with the Tories to grass roots Liberal Democrat supporters.
However the modern Conservative party, with its emphasis on social justice, is relatively in tune with liberal sensibilities. Although, as Isaby observes, it is unlikely to accede to demands for proportional representation.
Ultimately, the Observer’s poll is not in line with the vast majority of surveys, which still indicate that the Tories are likely to form the next government with a clear majority. There might be fewer Conservative MPs than David Cameron would ideally like, but as long as he plots a centrist course, a hung parliament can be avoided.