Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has been talking up his party’s role if the 7 May election results in a hung parliament.
He said the Lib Dems should be the coalition partner of choice for both the Labour and Conservative parties.
“If no-one wins a majority – and they are not going to – on May 7, for me I think it is very important that people understand that Liberal Democrats will ensure that any government is legitimate and stable,” he told the BBC.
“That means that, in a democracy, the party with the greatest mandate from the British people – even though they haven’t got a majority – seems to me, to us, to be the party that has the right to try to assemble a government first.
“They may not succeed, but they should surely be given a chance to succeed.”
Mr Clegg said that either David Cameron or Ed Miliband would be Prime Minister after the election, but that any coalition should include the Lib Dems rather than Ukip or the SNP.