Some Liberal Democrats did attend the Labour conference. They had form in opposing the coalition and contributed to sessions on potential alliances between the second and third forces in British politics. John Leech, a left-wing Liberal Democrat was quick to endorse future political pacts with the Labour party.
He said: "I wasn't sure if I was going to come tonight without my tin hat.
"In the north west, we have a level of hostility between Labour and Lib Dems that would make it impossible."
But Leech admitted that there was more common ground between the two parties than acknowledged by activists.
What does it say about outliers like Leech that they endorse a left-wing pact despite the antipathy of their own activists. Such sentiments sound like a precursor to defection.
What surprises me is the lack of movement despite the fertile grounds for swaps in personnel that political pacts and coalition government provides. Three disaffected communities are evident: Blairite MPs (after the election of optimistically optical illusionist, Red Ed), left-wing Liberal Democrats gravitating towards public sector interest groups and those Tories who may occasionally be mistaken for conservatives. With Labour's shift towards the trade unions, broad churches may become fissiparous and sectarian.