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Day: August 25, 2011

Nick Clegg doused in blue paint in Glasgow

So it seems as though a person who doesn’t like Nick Clegg has poured blue paint all over the Deputy PM at an event in Glasgow this evening. Nick Clegg shrugged his shoulders and laughed it off. The rumour on twitter is that Stuart Rodger is the man who has been arrested and all you can say is what a tit if indeed this proves to be the case. Although whoever did it is a complete tit. Whoever did it may have thought they were making a stand against Nick Clegg but really?

Whatever you think about Clegg and his policies all you are doing is getting yourself a criminal record and make some members of the electorate feel sorry for Nick Clegg. Remember John Major won an election in 1992 in no small part because people felt sorry for him. He had a line as long as pension day in the post office lined up behind him to stab him in the back and the electorate liked his demeanour and fact that he just carried on.

Nick Clegg isn’t popular with a vast array of people but my mantra is treat people how you’d like to be treated yourself. Would you like to have blue paint thrown all over you in public without your consent? No. No you wouldn’t. If you don’t have basic principles then you are just a bit of a loser.

No doubt the blue paint is meant to signify that he’s a Tory but this story will be done within 24hours and will be chip paper come Friday night. The only person who’ll face serious consequences is the offender himself who has decided to screw up his future for a few seconds of personal satisfaction.

I hope it was worth it. One day you’ll grow up and realise what a fool you have been. At the age of 20 you’d think you had already grown up enough to not do something so stupid but it seems that some people are close blinkered they can’t see the big picture.

Just like those caught up in the quote/unquote ‘UK Riots’ – a few fleeting moments of ecstasy that will lead to a lifetime of regret.

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Nick Clegg’s approval ratings rise dramatically amongst Lib Dems in August

We can all agree that the roller-coaster ride that has been the life of Nick Clegg would make for a terrific feature film. However this isn’t a film and it is real life and he has been pilloried by the majority of people. Labelled a traitor and a liar his popularity with the public is not exactly sky high any more. The heady days of April 2010 seems like a different world to what he faces today.

His popularity within his own party isn’t great either. Many old school Lib Dems feel that going into a coalition with the Tories was just plain wrong and many of the new generation believe that not getting our way on the student fees was tant amount to treason. Overseeing an election where we lost MPs despite growing our vote numbers by around a million and pushing through with the Referendum on the voting system when we were being set up to lose has lost him a lot of support.

In July an Ipsos Mori poll for Reuters said that 47% of Lib Dems were satisfied with his performance but a whopping 41% were dissatisfied. In August however these numbers have seen a decided shift. 55% are now satisfied but only 29% are dissatisfied but his approval ratings within his own party have gone up 17% in a month.

So what have we seen in the past month? Mainly the News of the World’s death and if along has changed up to 17% of Lib Dems perception of their leader then I’ll be surprised. Therefore it is more likely that Lib Dems are happy with what he is saying about the civil unrest of earlier this month and how we should be handling the situation.

His ideas that we should use more community punishments instead of just locking people up is huge amongst Lib Dems. I think it is something the vast majority of Lib Dems would agree with. You can’t just give up on people and rehabilitation needs to be given a far higher priority than it is. People don’t feel part of their community and that is something we need to address but ‘The Big Society’ is not the answer. You can’t force a community to come together.

I have no idea what the future holds for Nick Clegg. He’s been much-maligned with the electorate but just as much so – if not more so – amongst the members within his own party. It would have been easy to not go into coalition and sat back and watched the economy go into the tank. He took a very tough decision which may hurt the party long-term but five years is a long time in politics. Things change and if things change for the better for the electorate then the party (and Clegg) can say that they were part of the reason.

The end is not nigh for Clegg but if he is to continue then he needs the strong support of his party and it slowly looks like he may be getting that once again.

Edit: Just for clarification. This question was asked to Lib Dem Voters. Not necessarily Lib Dem Members.

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Lib Dems up in a poll – and it’s not just in the Guardian/ICM one

It seems a long time since I sat at my Dad’s last April and read that the Lib Dems actually led in a major national Sunday poll. This was the weekend after the first leaders debate and the Lib Dem surge was going like a freight train. Those were the days. Things wouldn’t get any better for the party as Andy Coulson did his worst and fed the newspapers as many stories about Nick Clegg and his party as he could. Even if they weren’t exactly true and were murky at best it didn’t matter.

Gordon Brown and David Cameron realised that the Lib Dems might actually do something and hold the balance of power and they went on the attack. The collapse of the economy in Greece didn’t help and nor did the fact that Brits are scared of immigration at the moment – those two things along with the media berating the party hurt and we got what we saw come May.

Since then after the party went into coalition and student fees went up it has all been downhill for the Lib Dems. The party was going to sink into oblivion. I was told this on twitter so it must be true. However politics moves in mysterious ways sometimes and we have all seen elections which have changed course at the drop of a hat. John Major should never have won the 1992 General Election but he did but the one that I always look at was the 2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

Hillary Clinton on the weekend before the Primary was down by 13% in the polls. 13%. She won New Hampshire by 4%. So we saw a 17% swing within 48 hours. That shows that anything can happen in politics and that that no Lib Dem should think it’s over and more importantly why so many Labour voters shouldn’t say the Liberal Democrats are a dead party. That is just dumb. People who say that are well maybe not dumb but what they are saying most certainly is.

So anyway to the polls. On Tuesday we saw the Guardian/ICM poll have the Lib Dems up on 17%. Not a huge shock as they have for a while been the stand-out poll that has the Lib Dems way ahead of where they stand in the other polls…

Guardian ICM Poll
Guardian ICM Poll

But then we get to today and the Ipsos Mori/Reuters poll which has the Lib Dems up 4% to 15%. Which is the highest they have been in a non ICM poll since before the student fees fiasco.

Ipsos Mori Poll
Ipsos Mori Poll

As we all know it may well be a rogue but it’s the first time a different polling company has put the Lib Dems in a position to say to the doubters that this country is now not a two-party system. Labour seem intent on telling everyone that it is just Labour or the Conservatives because they know in that scenario they can win. In a three-way system it will be hard for anyone to win outright at the moment. Even if we started an election campaign today and went to the polls four weeks today can Ed Miliband really sustain himself for four weeks enough to win an outright majority? I am sceptical but I suspect so are most people.

With the 2015 General Election to be fought using the FPTP system I can’t see it being a landslide either way unless something dramatic happens (which is obviously could). It is in Labour’s benefit to attack and crush the Lib Dems as much as possible but if this tactic doesn’t work then it very well may come back to bite them in the bum – hard. Even if the Lib Dems hover around the 15%-17% mark come General Election time they’ll do damage and that is a concern to everyone in blue or red – but it is those in red who have far more to fear.

Screenshots courtesy of UK Polling Report

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