Could Huhne be the beneficiary?
With the revelations in the News of the World about Mark Oaten and a rent boy and the admission by the party leader in the House of Lords, Lord McNally about his drinking problem it is not a good Sunday for the party.
Given the circumstances of Charles Kennedy’s departure only fifteen days ago the question has to be asked about the damage this is doing.
For all of this so quickly could make the party appear a bit of joke and this could undermine the efforts of activists ahead of the May local elections. For more than Labour and the Tories the Lib Dems look to hard work by supporters to get their vote out.
Any diminution of efforts ahead of May 4th could be seen in the results. In a way the leadership election could be very useful as a way of drawing a line under what has gone on.
That there could be revelations of this type about somebody who only four days ago was a candidate for the leadership is damaging amd one wonder why Oaten allowed his name to go forward knowing that this might emerge.
It is hard to assess the impact of the news on the leadership vote. My instinct is that it will undermine Simon Hughes and help Chris Huhne.
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