A newly optimistic Nick Clegg, following the party's success in the Eastleigh byelection, said the Liberal Democrats have moved from being a protest party to the anchor that will deliver centre-ground governments committed to both a strong economy and a fairer society.
David Cameron has been put on notice by anxious Tory MPs to improve his party's fortunes in this month's budget and the May local elections or risk a leadership challenge, after they suffered the humiliation of being beaten into third place by Ukip in the Eastleigh byelection.
Relieved Liberal Democrats have claimed a narrow victory in the Eastleigh byelection, fending off a surge by Ukip that forced the Conservatives into third place – putting huge pressure on David Cameron to show he has a strategy to win the 2015 election.
The Liberal Democrats have slumped to their lowest rating in a national opinion poll, as the party struggles against claims of a cover-up surrounding the alleged behaviour of its former chief executive, Lord Rennard.
The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has urged his party's candidate at the Eastleigh byelection to constantly remind voters that the former holder of the seat, the disgraced Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne, "is a liar".
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, hit the Eastleigh byelection campaign trail on Wednesday afternoon and launched a typically colourful attack on the Liberal Democrats.
Nick Clegg has said he hopes voters in the Eastleigh byelection will look beyond the "courtoom drama" of the Chris Huhne legal case and vote for the Liberal Democrats on the basis of their achievements in government.
More than a third of voters believe that the coalition is less ethical than the last Labour government, according to a new poll.
Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, has claimed his party could win the European elections in 2014, as a poll shows that 13% of voters support his party.
The leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage, has claimed that his party has now displaced the Liberal Democrats as the "third force" in British politics after it performed strongly in three byelections.