Striking how many senior LibDems who have the Tories 2nd in their seats say they are not yet seeing any Tory challenge to them on the ground
— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) September 25, 2012
Why’ve the blues taken their foot off the gas?
Whenever anybody has talked about leadership challenges at the Brighton LD conference this week the message that you hear is that this would only happen once incumbent MPs start to panic.
Given that in the lion’s share of seats that the yellows will be defending the Tories are the main challengers you’d have expected that the blues would be working hard on the ground.
That doesn’t seem to be happening according to the Tweet above from James Forsyth, political editor of the Spectator in which he suggests that the blue team is not being very active in the LD held seats where they need to do well at the general election.
I’ve made my own inquiries in three or four of the constituencies and got a similar message to James.
Maybe it is all “below the radar” with phone contact but there is not the level of literature going out or much face to face contact with voters.
A big reason has been the prolonged boundary change process which is not going to happen. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Tory chairman, Grant Shapps, faced up to reality and ordered that the process of candidate selection should begin on the basis of the 2010 boundaries.
It’s much harder to campaign between general elections when you don’t know who your candidate will be and you are facing a well-known LD incumbent.
We are now moving into the second half of this parliament and you would expect to be seeing a ratcheting up of campaigning in the 30-40 Lib Dem seats where the Tories are in second place.
Whatever Lib Dem incumbents who face Tory challengers are not as jumpy about hanging on as the opinion polls might suggest and that I believe is helping Nick Clegg’s position.