Do they still hate the Tories more than Gordon?
Just reading and watching what coverage there has been of the weekend’s Lib Dem conference it’s been hard to identify a discernible strategy for dealing with what could be the toughest general election for the party for thirty years.
Maybe much more was said that didn’t make the public prints but what are we to make of comments like these quoted in the Times: “We remain a centre-left party” and “Many of us regard the Conservatives as the opposition and Labour as the competition” .
These suggest a party that is running against the grain of the public opinion and one that given half a chance would prefer to keep Brown at Number 10 rather than let the hated Tories back in.
How different it was in the 1996/1997 period when Paddy Ashdown’s Lib Dems were able to ride the anti-Tory mood and ensure a bumper harvest of seats at the general election. Surely Nick Clegg should be doing the same with the big move against Labour and ensure that his party, at the very minimum, doesn’t lose out to the Tories?
For if there is any sense at all that the Lib Dems are anything but unequivocal in their opposition to the Brown government continuing then they will be punished heavily in the seats that they will be defending against the Tories
Conservative strategists desperately need a large share of those LD>CON marginals and will be looking for anything that will allow them to suggest that a vote for Clegg’s party is a vote for the continuation of Brown.
This is a hugely difficult one for the leadership to handle – but as they say – “If you can’t ride two horses at the same time you shouldn’t be in the circus”.