Clegg cautions against Tory vote
David Cameron could be "taken hostage" by Ukip and "loopy" right-wing Tories if he attempts to lead a minority government after May 7, Nick Clegg has warned.
The Liberal Democrat leader claimed Mr Cameron was maintaining a "complete fiction" by insisting his party would win an outright majority.
With the two coalition parties going head-to-head in key battleground constituencies, the Deputy Prime Minister predicted "chaos" if the Tories made gains at the Lib Dems' expense.
In an interview with the Independent, Mr Clegg said: "The more he tells people to vote Conservative rather than Lib Dem, the more likely it is he will be taken hostage by Nigel Farage and the more loopy parts of his own party."
He turned Mr Cameron's mantra that a vote for the Tories would result in "competence" rather than the "chaos" of a Labour government against the Prime Minister.
He said: "Far from voting for competence, a vote for the Conservatives in marginals against us, is a vote for the chaos of a Conservative administration held to ransom by Nigel Farage and right-wing Tory backbenchers."
Mr Cameron has said he views taking seats from the Lib Dems as his route back to Downing Street, but Mr Clegg said: "If you want competence, coherence and consensus, rather than instability and factionalism, the only rational decision is to vote Lib Dem rather than risk ending up with a government held hostage."
He added: "A lot of mainstream, moderate voters want to see the Government to govern as we have done from the centre ground, and not to be beholden to the vagaries of a single issue party like Ukip or the obsessions of the Conservative right.
"They want a Government that governs for the whole country and strikes the right balance."
He said having Lib Dems in office with either Labour or the Tories would be "an an insurance policy that we would govern for the whole country".