Will tax and public spending cuts help stem the Tory surge?
Today’s crisis at Lehman Brothers and all the attention that Labour’s leadership crisis is getting are somewhat over-shadowing the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth. The party which finds it difficult getting publicity at any time always looks for a boost from its conference and this is just more bad luck for Nick Clegg.
For many in the party the key issue is how do they deal with the threat to many of their seats from a rejuvenated Conservative party at the next election.
The above list is from a research report that the newly-established organisation Liberal-Vision has produced for a special fringe meeting this lunchtime which I have been asked to be the independent chair.
The English constituencies that the party notionally holds under the new boundaries are categorised above and, as can be seen, there are four separate groups. The report takes into account recent polling as well as local election results and other factors in making assessments for those seats.
The result looks bloody even though that elsewhere in the document there is an assessment of possible Labour gains. All this has been produced for a purpose – to get the party to focus on the Cameron threat and to support the arguments for a very different policy portfolio.
Liberal Vision believes that lower taxes and a commitment to public spending will help stop the seepage of support to the Tories. The challenge it faces is that this runs totally against the grain of many in the party who cut their political teeth in the days of the “penny on income tax for education”
So for me it’s an early start and a visit to the seaside.