Should Clegg remain invisible for the entire campaign?
The Guardian is reporting this morning that Ed Miliband has told the YES campaign that he will not share a platform with Nick Clegg because he believes that the Lib Dem leader is so toxic to Labour supporters that it could affect the outcome.
Apparently the Labour leader is happy to share platforms with other prominent Lib Dems – Ashdown/William/Kennedy etc – but not the leader.
Given the way that Labour supporters in poll after poll are so hostile to Clegg that surely must be the right decision assuming that EdM does want AV to be introduced. Yesterday’s YouGov leadership approval numbers had Labour supporters splitting 88-11 against the Lib Dem leader.
It’s also clear that the response of Labour voters will be absolutely central to the referendum outcome. Tory voters are largely against; the dwindling numbers of LD voters are mostly for whereas Labour voters are either for or against depending on the wording of the polling question.
Unless there’s a massive upset in the next twelve weeks Labour is set to make big gains in the other elections that are due to be taking place on May 5th the planned date for the referendum. This mean that they’ll have a lot of supporters voting in the other elections.
The big issue is whether Labour backers are more influenced by their new leadership than members of the party old guard – Beckett/Prescott/Blunkett – who will fighting for NO.
It’s known that the NO campaign is planning to exploit Clegg’s unpopularity to the full.
Isolating Clegg also has the advantage for EdM in that he would get the kudos from a YES victory.