This might be bit outside the box, but I can’t see how the LibDem collapse in the elections can be attributed to them taking the flak for the current and proposed cuts. My theory for their “collapse” is related more to the AV campaign results than “the Cuts!. And it’s not Nick Clegg’s fault.
In short: the AV result makes it very clear that the electorate of Britain are comfortable with a FPTP system. We get it, we’ve lived with for years, it might be flawed – but we can live with those flaws as the alternatives don’t set our juices flowing.
And my extrapolation of that argument is that not only do we want a one person one vote system, but we also want/prefer a confrontational Left v Right system. That desire leads to us not wanting Coalitions, they confuse us. They stop us choosing who to blame
We want to elect Governments and if we get it wrong we are prepared to let them have a go and we will judge them in time.
Instead we now have power influenced, delivered even, by less successful parties and we don’t like it. And when we don’t like something we tend to do something about it.
So I suggest that we don’t try to argue that Nick Clegg is being blamed for policies. Instead he is being blamed and pilloried just for being there, for being in Government. We don’t want that and want to return to the good old Left v Right, FPTP. Simples!