Nick Clegg's message to voters

Nick Clegg Image copyright PA

I may no longer be the fresh faced outsider, Nick Clegg told the country today, but someone has to stand up for liberal Britain against the politics of fear and grievance.

This was the speech of a man who knows that many voters don't trust him, many don't like him and many have not forgiven him for that broken promise to stop tuition fees but he believes that a big gap has opened up in British politics for his party - a gap between a Labour party which has yet to be trusted to run the economy and a Tory party which is not seen as fair.

He is fighting for another coalition, a chance to finish the job, the opportunity to stay in government even if he and his party get many many fewer votes and MPs than they did last time.

A man who's been personally vilified and whose party's opinion poll rating is below 10% in the polls believes there is - there must be - a space for what he calls "decent people with decent values".