Monday, October 15, 2007

Sir Ming was "shafted by a complete shower of shits": LibDem MP

Sir Ming Campbell wasn't up to the job and wasn't right as LibDem Leader. I blogged throughout the last LibDem leadership contest that the LibDems would put off the difficult SDP versus Orange Bookers decision and lance the boil of the right-left discourse in the party and elect somebody who can chart the middle course, avoid making decisions and won't rock the boat. And true to form they elected Sir Ming who was totally incapable of leadership but didn't upset anybody and would hold together the wings of the party.

Now the LibDems still have to make that choice - do they chase Tory votes with a right-leaning Orange Booker like Clegg or do they challenge for Labour votes with an SDP left leaner like Webb? They will have to decide because their party will remain an unelectable political hyrbid until they do.

They could have made this decision 19 months ago. But being wet LibDems they didn't, put off the decision and landed themselves with a leader who lost them hundreds of council seats and plunged them to 11% in the polls.

I hope all those who voted and supported Sir Ming are happy with what they've done to their party. They were warned about this and they ignored it. However, once they get over this leadership crisis, the LibDems have a chance to rebuild their party. For what it's worth - as a Tory - I don't think it'll be in time to save them come the next election.


James Burdett said...

I totally agree, too late for the Lib Dems. If they have any medium term tactical sense they will tack to the left. If they go for a rightist type I think the danger is that the left will peel off completely and the right will decide to go for the real thing rather than an imitation with statist tendencies.

Anonymous said...

I think we are assuming that the Lib Dems have the capacity to look at the big picture. This is perhaps asking a lot when you consider the history of centre politics over the past 20,30,40 even years? - short term opportunism reigns.

However, the Libs do have to consider their key seats strategy. This is considering their success in picking up seats in the past even with a flat or declining national result. The key question is how they hold seats against the Tories. In electoral analysis they have the choice of looking to gain single votes by appealing to Labour tactical or double by looking for Tory switchers/swing voters. In the present climate the former is the lower risk strategy.

The Tories will need to devise a strategy quickly on how to deal with the new Lib Dem leader. The instinct will be to go in hard as they need to regain seats. However, the risk is always of displacing votes to Labour nationally.

These are interesting times