The Institute for Government has taken a close interest in the working of the coalition since its formation in May 2010: How should the conventions and procedures for single-party government be adapted? How should ministers of different parties work in a single department? What support should there be for the junior partner? And how is policy made?

This InsideOut paper from Nick Harvey, who served as a defence minister for most of the first half of the parliament, provides valuable analysis of these questions as well as thoughts on how his party should approach any future coalition. The views expressed are clearly those of a Liberal Democrat minister, and many will disagree with them. But such personal, often contentious, perspectives are the point of our InsideOUT series.