Would this position the yellows better for the general election?
There’s a fascinating piece of speculation by Sue Cameron in the Telegraph about the Lib Dem leadership and the cabinet re-shuffle. She writes:–
“..Interesting speculation… about Vince Cable, 69, the Business Secretary, who may step down with a view to becoming leader of the Lib Dems in the Commons. (The Lib Dem leader doesnâ€™t have to be in the Cabinet even in coalition, and Nick Clegg could continue to be Deputy PM). Why should Mr Cable give up a job he enjoys? Because if Labour is the largest party after the next election, it will never do a deal with Mr Clegg but it could work out a Lib-Lab pact with Mr Cable. The latter would want Danny Alexander to take over as Business Secretary, with David Laws going back as Chief Secretary.”
This would, of course, require Nick Clegg to resign as party leader in order to create the vacancy. There would then be an election and given the murmurings of the past few days then you’d expect Cable to put his hat into the ring. If he did then I’m pretty sure that he’d win
Clegg would then be in a strange position – deputy PM but not leader of his party. Whether that’s sustainable I don’t know.
From a general election perspective the Lib Dems require a significant level of Labour tactical voting in the key CON-LD battlegrounds. Those include seats already in yellow hands and those Tory seats where they are in a strong second place.
A Cable leadership but him not being in the Cabinet could certainly encourage that making the Tory objective of winning a majority more remote.
If this is correct then it impacts on a whole range of betting markets from the leadership itself to whether Clegg will step down as party leader before the election.
Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB