Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Clegg finally signals a change in LibDem tactics

Both this morning and late this evening I've been out and about helping our teams deliver a massive new survey across the City. The results are coming back fast; and the one strange aspect is the total lack of LibDem support. I've been arguing for a while that their support in Norwich is just seeping away and our survey proves just that.

Interestingly today Nick Clegg signalled that his party will now focus on the 50 most vulnerable Labour seats; finally taking notice of those both within and outside of his party who have said that to hurl themselves against the Tory brick wall was nonsense. Fighting Tory seats like mad when Cameron is riding high just made no sense; and now Clegg has admitted this.

However, one LibDem I spoke to today said that this strategy didn't go far enough. He pointed out that in some seats where the Tories are third but with a large vote - such as Norwich South - that Cameron's Party could still come through to either come second or even win. Certainly the Sunday Telegraph had Norwich South in the blue column as a result of their polling. My LibDem source says that they ought to target seats where the Tory vote is low and where Labour wouldn't expect a challenge - a sort of Manchester Withington kind of seat, it was suggested.

Either way, Clegg is still polling lower than Campbell and is still struggling to control his fractious party. A change of electoral focus is a good start to turning that around.

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