Monday, 19 April 2010

Labour and the Tories have only themselves to blame for Nick Clegg's LibDem challenge

It is a great time to be following politics in the UK because no one knows how the May 6th General Election is going to play. Since a stellar performance by LibDem leader Nick Clegg last Thursday in the first televised debate between Britain’s party leaders, his also-ran party has raced to the top in at least one opinion poll.
It remains to be seen if Clegg can maintain this surge. The other parties will chip away at perceived weaknesses in LibDem policies – its espousal of Europe and some daffy ideas about the economy and law and order.
But as he seems to be striking a chord with the young and women voters who are disenchanted with the centre-left Labour Party and the right-wing Conservatives, it may be enough just to be not the other two.
A good showing by the LibDems at the election would only underline the incompetence of Labour and the Tories in their own campaigns.
With Gordon Brown personally registering large negatives in opinion polling, he should have been dumped as leader last summer. It is clear the MPs expenses scandal will fester for years in the contempt, which the electorate hold the old order. Anyone Alan Johnson or David Milliband for example would have been preferable to Brown.
I have already posted about Tory leader David Cameron's underwhelming campaign strategy. The main plank of his offer to the British public is that it is time for change. He little realised he was building a platform for Clegg.
The Tories have come up with a potential vote winner in Cameron's ‘Big Society’ idea, which promises to empower the people. But he is a good 12 months too late in introducing the concept. What might have been a society game-changer looks like another gimmick dreamed up with tax cuts to help try and secure victory next month.
Finally, I hope there will be an enormous stink if Gordon Brown gets back to Number 10 despite coming second or even third in the popular vote. The bias in the distribution of seats that favours Labour so hugely is just plain undemocratic.

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What do you think? GC