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No, this just means Ming is likely to be replaced. Which is yet more bad news for the Tories.

That makes 15% vote with others (100-(37+36+12)).

The Brown bounce could be vulnerable to 'Constitution' politics.

I used to think the Lib Dems would seriously harm themselves by going throug another brutal and bloody leadership election. Now it is clear that there is simply no way things can get worse for them. Heads must surely roll soon?

What I ask myself is "Is there actually any point in the Lib Dems anymore?", "What are they for?". I suspect that many of them are asking themselves that. Personally, I think that Gordon Brown was asking himself that when he made his kind offer of a post in the Cabinet to Paddy Ashdown. Not "a government of all the talents" but "What a good way to start to precipitate a split of the Liberal Democrats". From 12% to 0% isn't so far to go.

What I ask myself is "Is there actually any point in the Lib Dems anymore?", "What are they for?".

Since Dave announced that he was the 'Hear to Blair' a lot of us have been asking that question about our own party as well.

A couple of changes of leadership should render both questions redundant.

'Hear to Blair'

Freudian slip.

But oh so true.

What I ask myself is "Is there actually any point in the Lib Dems anymore?",

Without them several large MBCs will return to labour control - Leeds, Bradford.....and Conservatives will disappear from the landscape in many areas if split-voting ceases

Very balanced analysis there, Tim.

We obviously need a boost before the election, but that is at least 10 months away and will hopefully come with our 100,000 pages of "substance" that are forthcoming.

Suggests that the Brown boost has just seen Labour take Lib Dem votes, not ours.


Brown appears to be decimating the LibDems and we are stable.

If Clegg does not take over soon we will be back to two party politics.

I take it that 'others' are up 1%.

I agree with Traditional Tory. Since Osborne uttered those silly words, we are the Heirs to Blair, one begins to wonder, what is the point of the Conservative Party, let alone the LibDems.

I also dread the outcome of the Policy Review findings. My worst fear is that it will be announced by Cameron without any second thought, or even giving the Parliamentary Pary a chance to see - and it will start unravelling like the Grammar School fiasco.
If Cameron slips up, I am afraid it will be curtains and only salvation is the 1922 Committee taking matters inits own hands.

If Greg Hands is reading this, please take note and spread the word around.

Yeah, Editor, you had a brief flirtation with adding an "other" box to the right of the standard party boxes, showing percentage and change in percentage.

So Labour are on the same as the 2005 GE and we're up 4%, with the Lib Dems down, er 10%+? Not bad, but obviously needs to be better.

It's worth taking a look at because this didn't ask the standard voting intention question but named leaders, which often has the effect of reducing Lib Dem support...


Why do we assume that Clegg will be the next Lib Dem leader? As the epitome of Orange Book liberalism, he is has the greatest appeal to Conservatives, but Lib Dem leaders are elected by Lib Dem members who have very different inclinations. With Hughes probably out of the running, expect Huhne to make a strong pitch for his party's core vote. Huhne is hungrier than Clegg, his seat is highly vulnerable and the profile he'd get as a party leader would be the surest way of holding on.

But *which* 14%...

I suggest we take a deep breath with this poll. The LD's may well be down but we have already said that between now and the Autumn polls will be all over the place - and thus it is proving.

Maybe the LibDems decide to change the little bit necessary to become "Heirs to Blair" too? Then we can merge the three main parties and command 85% of the votes!

The trouble is that whilst Clegg has many good qualities and ideas, his pro Federalist position would make any move to the Conservatives absolutely impossible.

12%.... And to think that - at one ime - *we* were discussing some sort of 'alliance' with the LibDims!

When normal political service resumes and the two party system gets up and runs, the liberals are always ground down. This is essentially what is happening. They are now back in their old dilemma of wavering between centre left and centre right. This is what makes them so vicious and dishonest on the ground, listing this way and that depending on what they think their interlocutor wants them to say.

Is this happy result down to the Cameron factor? Is the project working?

Partly. But first, Cameron and Osborne are blundering in some of their concessions to the left. Over grammar schools yesterday and private equity today they have disheartened supporters without converting any but the most suspicious and unreliable centre left votes.

What is helping the tories is time. People begin to cast their eyes longingly at the opposition after ten years of one party government. Secondly, the real scandals and disasters of the labour administration are lingering in the electorate's memory. They have piled up to the point where they cannot be digested or swept away. Finally, the consequences of socialist policies over schools, crime, immigration and health are seeping ever more corrosively into the public arena. Even the BBC can't muffle the sounds of suffering for ever.

The substantive concessions have been made. Devolution is accepted, as is the new dispensation concerning personal freedom. From here, we can surely assert the remainder of our deep convictions - low tax, academic selection, sustainable immigration.

Before you all get too excited about one dodgy poll - another Tory MP seems to be leaving. See Ian Dale.

To lose one MP may be thought of as carelessness to lose two....

It's not just one poll, though, Icarus. The Lib Dems are heading South across the board. Not that I think they are as low as 12%.

Traditional Tory: The same poll found that only about 15% thought Cameron Is the Heir to Blair. Far more think Brown is!

"Yeah, Editor, you had a brief flirtation with adding an "other" box to the right of the standard party boxes, showing percentage and change in percentage."

I think the fact of how badly "others" did in the locals vs their opinion poll showing, ukip especially, proved that there was no real need to look at "others"

Tim Roll-Pickering, you forget that the "Heir to Blair"-label came from Osborne himself and who better to know?

"A whopping 45% of those polled said being heir to Blair is a bad thing for a politician", which is probably why Cameron is not winning. With the current rating, Osborne could change the label to "Heir to kinnock".

The big swing, if there is one, is Lib to Lab. What seems to be happening is that Labourites against the Iraq war, who couldn't forgive Blair, are returning to the fold. The LibDems have always been a branch-office of Labour, and the accounts are interchangeable!

Michael Purches, Abingdon, Oxon.

Fortunately, most people think Brown is the heir to Blair, rather than Cameron.

As it happens, Tory T, "Others" more or less matched their poll ratings in the locals. Between them, UKIP, Greens and BNP won nearly 10% of the total vote.

As an Tory activist I think things are bad for the LibDems, but not as bad as 12% which would be a wipeout.
Lets assume DC and Ming are penciling in May 2008 as a potential early election date (dependant on positive polls for Brown).
So if the LibDems are to get rid of Ming, they are going to have to do it pretty quickly to allow their new leader time to establish him/herself or hope for a later election. Perhaps in the mistaken belief that things cannot get worse.
The elephant in the room for the LibDems is that any election campaign will come down to Hughne vs. Clegg or Laws. This will show the fundamental ideological left/right split in the party. Most LibDem members and activists are left-of-centre so Hughne will probably win. Hughne is an ocean-going hypocrite (see the Hughnewatch blog) and may even lose more votes than Ming? Kennedy could be a unity candidate, but I understand he still has problems with alcoholism so it's unlikely.
Altogether a pretty bad moment for the Libs. I notice Hughne is also positioning himself and probably believes that the only way he will hold onto Eastleigh is as party leader. If my analysis is true, Hughne will commit an act of abject disloyalty very soon.....

Cameron has to go ! how much longer are you all going to put up with this guy !

The Tories will be beaten because what base they ever had is fast disappearing. Time to go David !

Who is Iain Dale hinting at?

Before you all get too excited about one dodgy poll - another Tory MP seems to be leaving. See Ian Dale.

Good. I put £5 on another defection at 5/1 with William Hill in order to gain a free £30 bet which, sad to relate, crashed and burned at the 2pm at Carlisle.

That 'shortlist of one'; could the names begin with J- B-? It certainly wouldn't surprise me.

Tim Roll-Pickering - Traditional Tory: The same poll found that only about 15% thought Cameron Is the Heir to Blair. Far more think Brown is!

That's bad, Tim. Looks like Dave and George are going to have to shout a little louder.

Sean, but it did not translate, did it, into council seats? "Others" lost to the Tories overall. ukip stood 1000 candidates if I recall and what did they get, 1 gain, 2 losses, something like that

Tory T, who really cares? Local election results are a notoriously bad indicator of general election results as I'm sure you well know.Personally I'm interested to see how the 'others' are doing, and do not feel the need to put spin every poll whether it is good or bad for us.

No, this just means Ming is likely to be replaced.
Nobody else will want to takeover the Liberal Democrats at this stage and be blamed for the inevitable collapse in their vote, now they will want to wait until after the General Election so that they can build from a low base rather than possibly end up being blamed for an already falling one.

Just as by 1981 nobody really would have wanted to rest the Labour leadership off Michael Foot, in 1989 few people wanted to take the Liberal Democrat leadership and in 1999 few people wanted to wrest the Conservative leadership off William Hague - Menzies Campbell will almost certainly resign the Liberal Democrat leadership on 12 June 2009 and be succeeded by Vincent Cable.

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