We know that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government. Obviously that means he will stand in for David Cameron as and when required.
But what other duties will he have?
It appears that Clegg’s main role will be in leading on the political reforms proposed by the coalition government. These are likely to be substantial pieces of legislation, so Clegg will have a lot to do.
Fixed term parliaments are to be introduced, along with the controversial 55% rule, raising the amount of votes needed to dissolve parliament. I’ve written on this one previously and it looks like MPs from all parties have severe reservations. Clegg could run into trouble here.
The proposed referendum on changing to the Alternative Vote for general elections may also face opposition. In brief, AV means rating candidates in a single member constituency: 1st choice, 2nd, etc. If a candidate has the majority of the votes they win. If not, the least popular candidates are eliminated with their votes transferring to the second preference on each ballot paper, until a majority is secured.
This is not a scheme that Lib Dems have ever favoured. And many Tory and Labour MPs are opposed to any change of system at all. Clegg will argue that the choice should be given to the people through a referendum.
Other responsibilities will include implementing the reduction in the number of constituencies – a move which would benefit the Tories. So that could be a tough sell, even to his own party.
More popular will be legislation to allow MPs to be recalled by their constituents. That’s one that all major parties seem agreed on. And surely no MP would want to be seen to oppose this, would they?
Clegg is also tasked with reforming the House of Lords to create a second chamber that is at least partially elected. Cameron has promised that something will go in front of MPs in December, so this will be a top priority.
And he has also been asked to look at the “West Lothian question” – the current situation where Scottish MPs vote on matters affecting only England in devolved areas such as health and education.
Well, that seems like a fair amount for Nick Clegg to be getting on with.
In addition, it should be remembered that Clegg is still leader of his party. And after the forced resignation of David Laws he has to devote at least some of his time to ensuring that his own MPs remain behind the coalition agreement.
So Deputy Prime Minister, political reformer and party leader. Not bad for a man who led his party to third place in the election.