Eau Dear

By DeusExMacintosh

The Deputy Prime Minister has commissioned a complete rethink of Lib Dem strategy amid rumblings about his stewardship at the highest level. Insiders say senior party figures including Chris Huhne, a former leadership contender, have been jockeying for position behind the scenes.

Rumours about Mr Clegg’s leadership have emerged after mounting discontent among party members in the country who are furious at the direction the party has been taking in government. Rank and file activists, who are more left wing than Mr Clegg, reject many of the more right wing policies adopted by their leader since he entered into coalition with the Tories.

The rise in university tuition fees and the speed and depth of cuts to public spending are particular bones of contention…

The rebranding exercise due to get under way next month will involve a total rethink of the party’s direction and could even include changing the name and logo, insiders said.

Some party strategists believe the name should change to include the word “social”, in order to reassure members and voters that it is more left wing. The image of a bird in flight could go in favour of a new logo emphasising fairness and social justice, such as a scale.

Mr Clegg is particularly worried about his own personal ratings and has asked for ideas about good news initiatives he could be associated with.

The Lib Dems are stuck at an almost record low of 10 per cent in the opinion polls with Mr Clegg’s personal ratings plummeting since last May. Before the election the Lib Dems peaked at 33 per cent and Mr Clegg enjoyed sky high personal ratings during the televised leader debates.

Aides of Mr Clegg are said to be desperate to know how they can turn the situation around.

The Telegraph

5 Comments

  1. kvd
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    It’s very hard to take this sort of exercise seriously. I mean, they got elected with a third of the vote, and now decide to think about what they stand for? One piece of advice I would give them is that the two words they currently use are so open to personal interpretation as to be basically useless for clear product differentiation, so they should go for a single word label at the very least.

    It is unfortunate for them that the “Silly Party” is already taken, as that might be most accurate, but I see the Telegraph is currently running a reader survey on one of my all-time favourite subjects, so I would suggest their strategists pay close attention to the results and commentary.

    And the Roundabout Party has a certain defining ring to it – no?

  2. Henry2
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Gday all,
    The minor parties always come up against the same hassles. Whereas larger parties are always based on ‘broad churches’, centre and left or centre and right, minor parties often try to find a place to fit and in doing so threaten the strength of commitment of half their supporters. The Australian Democrats failed in that regard and so will the Lib-Dems. The moment the Greens lose their ideological extremism and try to attract centre ground they will fail too.

    Regards,

    Frank

  3. Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    It sounds like a split in the LibDems is on the cards – with possibly the courts involved over ownership of a new brand name. Without a split or semblance of standing up for their advertised decision before the next election, many who voted LibDem will probably return to Labor next election.

    One must wonder how the LibDems would have fared in a preferential ballot, getting preferences from both sides and probably more primary votes – would Clegg be taking a different position if the major party in government, or not in a coalition at all?

    Kang, Kodos and Kastrate?

  4. derrida derider
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    As soon as Labour got beaten badly enough to make coalition with them impossible the Lib-Dems were in an awful position.

    They are in coalition with a party whose long-term interest is very much to split their base, and who are in a strong position to do that. If I was Cameron I’d be immoveable in Cabinet. Every time the Lib-Dems lose in Cabinet their vote splinters. If they walk out and force an election their representation disappears.

    Absent the STV referendum getting up (and it won’t) they are dead, and were always going to be dead. Getting STV up by hook or by crook should have been their single non-negotiable condition for forming a coalition.

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