Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Lib Dem support hits all time low and Clegg not at all popular - Good !

The price of backtracking on manifesto commitments for power:

Support for the Liberal Democrats has slumped to its lowest level since the party was formed in 1988, according to The Independent's "poll of polls".

Nick Clegg is now the most unpopular third party leader since David Owen led the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1989. The Liberal Democrats' 11 per cent rating in the first poll of polls since last May's election highlights the dramatic slide in their fortunes since they entered the Coalition with the Conservatives.

The 57 Liberal Democrat MPs would be reduced to a rump of just 15 at the next election if this level of support were to be repeated then.

Labour is now on 40 per cent and the Tories on 38 per cent, giving Labour an overall majority of 14, according to the weighted average of the regular surveys by ComRes, ICM, Ipsos MORI and YouGov.

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the figures, said that the costs and benefits of the Coalition had been distributed very unevenly between the two parties in it.

"It is clear that the tone and direction of the Coalition Government has upset many people who voted Liberal Democrat in May, and before, while for the most part those who voted Conservative have been reasonably content with what has transpired," he said.

"Liberal Democrat support is now lower than at any time since the party's troubled years following the merger of the Liberals and SDP." Mr Clegg's party is as unpopular as when the third party propped up an ailing Labour government in a Lib-Lab pact before the 1978-79 "winter of discontent".

The parallel is not an encouraging one for Mr Clegg, since its number of MPs fell to 11 at the 1979 general election – its worst result at any election between February 1974 and 2010.

"It seems that history is repeating itself so far as public reaction towards the party's involvement in support for a government engaged in cutting public expenditure is concerned," said Professor Curtice. "It certainly should not be presumed that demonstrating an ability to take tough decisions in the national interest will eventually reap a reward in the ballot box."


"Mr Clegg has clearly taken a serious hit personally," said Professor Curtice. Only 38 per cent of people are satisfied with his performance as Deputy Prime Minister, while 50 per cent are dissatisfied. These are the worst ratings for a third party leader since Dr Owen's score in December 1989, when 24 per cent were happy with him and 52 per cent unhappy.

Enjoy the power while you can Clegg,propping up the Tories will damage you and the Lib Dems in the long term as well as short. Those naive enough to have voted for them believing they represented some sort of new shiny principled politics will not make the same mistake again in local elections . They have seen the broken promises ,the ease and enthusiasm with which Clegg has worked with the Tories.

I look forward to seeing them hammered in May .