Are manufactured public spats in both coalition partners’ interest?

Are manufactured public spats in both coalition partners’ interest?

Surely the Lib Dems can’t go on like this polling in the single digits?

I’ve always been optimistic on the Lib Dems doing well in 2015, and the Ashcroft marginals polling in the past shows them doing better in the seats they hold than the national polling would suggest.

My expectation for 2014 was if we started seeing the Labour lead falling/Tory leads was that we’d see the Lib Dem vote rising, yet they are still stubbornly stuck in single digits with most pollsters whilst we have seen a few Tory leads.

The unspoken truth in Tory circles is that, if the Tories are going to remain in power post May 2015, they need the Lib Dems to start improving, to reduce the Labour firewall Mike wrote about this morning.

So what should the Lib Dems do and what can the Tories do to help them? Is public spats the way to go that boosts both parties. I think the big one would be something to do with “Human rights” it would allow the Lib Dems to potray themselves as the the champions of civil liberties and the Tories can portray themselves as tough on a topic that they poll badly.

Today, we have Chris Grayling’s announcements on the European Court on Human Rights, why didn’t he announce this during the Tory conference, is it maybe, because it gives the Lib Dems an opportunity this close to their conference, to publicly differentiate on a major policy disagreement.

Yesterday we had The Liberal Democrats demanding an official investigation into reports that an adviser to home secretary Theresa May called Nick Clegg a w**ker….A Tory aide is said by Mail Online to have made the remark after the deputy prime minister condemned May for “false and outrageous” accusations that the Lib Dems had put children’s lives at risk by blocking proposed surveillance legislation.

I’m sure there’s a few other subjects they could have between now and election day, if there are, we should view them through this prism.

I’ve consistently said that the coalition would last the duration of this parliament, and I still think it will, but I’m less confident than I was a year ago. In some ways you could argue this is the most stable government we’ve had in recent decades as it lacks the spats we saw in single party governments, such as the Blair/Brown feud, or John Major calling members of his cabinet bastards.

Right now I have the feeling the Lib Dems current insouciance towards their national polling is damaging for them. Put it this way, this year Ed Miliband’s leadership has come under more criticism from his own side, and he’s generally leading in the national polling, whereas most Lib Dems, Lord Oakeshott apart, seem content with Nick Clegg and his approach.

For the Lib Dems sake, on May the 8th next year, I hope no one says about them C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la politique.


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