Clegg: These local elections won't be as bad as last time

Nick Clegg is in an upbeat mood ahead of this week's local elections, as he insists that Liberal Democrats are "getting a hearing".

Many analysts believe the party will face a severe drubbing this Thursday, with some polls showing the party falling below Ukip into fourth place.

But the deputy prime minister used a Radio 5 Live breakfast interview to claim the party might escape the results it faced last year, when voters made their view on the junior coalition partner clear.

"I actually find that there is a different mood compared to last year," he said.

"I actually think we’re getting a hearing and people are listening to us this year.”

The deputy prime minister insisted the government was performing an admirable task on the economy, despite the UK officially slipping back into recession last week.

"Of course we need to be responsible and answerable for our own actions, but we also have to be candid and clear about the enormity of the clean-up task," he said.

Local and mayoral elections take place on Thursday across the country.