I hear that Mark Oaten - the MP for Winchester and one-time Lib Dem leadership hopeful - was spotted poring over polling data with Bob Worcester of Mori in Portcullis House the other day.Jonathan Isaby goes on to ask:
Oaten's book may be uncomfortable reading for some
Intrigued as to what he was up to, I have just called Oaten and discovered that he is working on a rather interesting project: a book about coalition governments past... and future.
With a hung parliament more likely at the next election than at any point for a generation, the issue of coalitions and cross-party alliances is going to be increasingly a matter for discussion amongst political observers and participants alike.
And few are more interested in the subject than the Lib Dems, who are most likely to be power-brokers if neither Labour or the Tories manage to get an overall majority in the Commons.
So is Oaten - one of the so-called Orange Book Lib Dems, on the free market wing of the party - on the verge of suggesting that Ming Campbell should be doing business with David Cameron?An important contribution to political history or an embarrassment just before Conference? We shall see.
"The conclusions are yet to be written," he insists. "But I want the book to be informative and it might not be comfortable reading for everybody."
He has signed a deal with publisher Harriman House and the book - provisionally titled Coalition - is due out on September 7.