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The problem's the party, not the leader.

Whilst everyone has been concentrating on the collapse of Labour, the media have ignored the squeeze being put on the Lib Dems.

They have had a disappointing set of election results, locals, Mayoral etc and will almost certainly lose 20+ seats at the next general election.

But we must not write then off so soon as anyone who has campaigned against them know they will use any device to get elected and cling on to power.

The Party is a problem and Ali T is right in the view that they should not be written off.

The position that we have as a Party in the Polls at present is fantastic. However, keeping this level of momentum going for up to two years will be difficult enough without any form of gloating being thrown in to the mix.

We are currently riding high because of how bad that Labour and the Lib Dems are currently seen to be. The delivery of new policies which will solve the problems which Labour have introduced will be the real nuts and bolts of success; not the misgivings of the floating electorate.

Clegg is a dud. It cannot be long before Simon Hughes appears on the GMTV sofa to put him on probation for six months.

The L;ibDems don't really have a core vote. They have a 'protest' vote. Their whole election strategy is to harvest 'protest' votes.

What is now happening is their 'protest' voters who are anti-tory are chucking their lot in with Labour to try and keep the tories out.

Debs is right - the LibDems are overwhelmingly Labour supporters who think NuLab is too right wing. The LibDem anti Iraq war/protest vote is now coming home to Labour under threat of Conservative revival.

I agree, the Lib Dems used to mop up votes on the basis that the public thought they were meant to be "nice" and because they seem to be all things to all people. I think the dynamics have changed as our party is now more approachable and reasonable about a range of issues.

The Gloating was on this site last week ! Two years is a hell of a long time in politics. Reading the blogs last week you would have thought that the election was imminent and we were " preparing for government " . Cllr Tugwell is right we are doing well in the polls because of the governments problems, just wait and see what happens when things calm down a bit.

The polls will change !!

I have to say my view of what drives Lib Dem voters is a bit different. Yes, many are protest voters (something their activists would deny, but know is true). What is also interesting is how their activist see themselves: morally superior. This is what gives rise to the painful sanctimony of so many of Lib Dems. To these people the allure of being right while never having to see cherished ideals put to the test, or needing to make any compromises so necessary in effectively exercising power, well, (inconsistent) quasi-intellectual purity might just be why they are in politics.

Something in the order of half LD seats were first won at by-elections, where they could concentrate troops and then hold the seats through incumbency. The more we can retake, the more we will consign the LD’s to increasingly minor party status. The goal has to be pushing them down to the point where the BBC does not automatically grant them a third of all media air time.

It's about time the Lib-Dems faced up to reality.

Frankly, it doesn't matter a jot who their leader is (I personally think Clegg is as good as it gets for them). They will never again command the kind of support they received during the past decade, now that we have an incumbant Labour Government on its way out, and a resurgent Conservative Party under Cameron's leadership that is looking more and more like a capable Government in waiting.

Pity that instead of taking the opportunity to carve out a meaningful political identity for themselves during our days in the wilderness, they've indulged in being both to the left & right of Labour depending on which way the wind was blowing.

This hapless bunch of egomaniacs have all along mistaken protest voting as genuine support for their ragbag of policies. The truth is the British public have no appetite for higher taxes and further European intergration, and with a socially liberal Coservative party have no reason left to vote Lib Dem.

Classic third party squeeze.

There is now once again a real fight between us and Labour - and when it gets serious, the "protest" party loses out.

The polls probably underestimate Labour's vote substantially, with the nose-holders on the left claiming to support the Lib-Dems for the pollsters, but likely to actually vote for the party most likely to beat us when the actual election comes. That's bad news anywhere where there is a close three-way split of votes, but as most of the Tory/Lib-Dem fights have Labour no-where third, that's good for us.

Nick - no more than 30 - Clegg. Has something of a ring about it don't you think?

I think John is right about the third party squeeze argument. The lib dems mopped up lots of votes from people who didn't like the Labour government but didn't think the tories would do any better. But now it is becoming increasingly obvious to most voters that at the next election they have a clear choice re-elect a labour government or vote them out and put a conservative one in its place. All of which means whether you want to kick labour out or stop the tories getting in there is no reason to vote lib dem.

If we play our cards right, we have a great opportunity to crush the Lib Dems completely so they are sidelined to complete fringe status which is what they really are, even to the extent where we can protect our local government base in office.

Living in the south west, I have come to realise what frauds the Lib Dems are. They have a different policy for every doorstep. Most of the people who vote for them have not the least idea what their main policies are - especially the ones on the EU. In elections they stoop to the lowest form of campaigning - character assassination by innuendo, scurrilous lies and worse.In this part of the country the problem has been that Liberalism has been a tribal religion (as socialism is Wales and the north), but the cracks have begun to appear and, as James Broughton said above,they will be sidelined to fringe status with just about enough MPs to fill a taxi.

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