What’ll be the domestic fall-out of the dictator going?
I don’t know whether this is being a bit premature but it does start to look as though the Gaddafi era in Libya is coming to an end. Things have moved very fast in the past couple of days with fighting now moving into the capital, Tripoli.
Whether this will take hours, days, or even weeks it is hard to see the dictator remaining in power. Close aides have begun to flee and Gaddafi’s influence over the troops still loyal to him could start to evaporate.
If that, indeed, does happen can we expect a lot of the kudos to go to David Cameron who played a key part earlier in the year alongside France in creating the international partnership that led to the intervention?
As we’ve seen over the months the US support has at times been relatively tepid and much of the burden has fallen on Europe.
This has had political risks for Cameron because the media has been much less supportive, say, than during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and public support has ebbed.
Throughout the conflict YouGov has been asking how voters view the involvement and in recent weeks backing for the action has gone negative. Today’s poll for the Sunday Times has 44% saying the action is wrong against saying it’s rght. To another question the sample had just 26% saying the action was going “well” with 48% saying it was going “badly”.
If it had been a disaster then the PM would have taken a lot of the blame. So a victory should be a big positive.