Jonathan Jones

Clegg versus Huhne, at a local level

While the Lib Dems lost control of Nick Clegg’s city of Sheffield to Labour, losing 9 councillors, they won every seat up for election Chris Huhne’s constituency of Eastleigh. They even took Labour’s only council seat in the borough.

It is worth remembering that the Lib Dems are waging very different types of battle in these two areas: against Labour in Sheffield and mainly the Tories in Eastleigh. Of all the Cabinet members, Huhne ran probably the most anti-Tory campaign in 2010, and many predicted a strong backlash against the Lib Dems in Eastleigh for going into coalition with them, perhaps with Labour supporters refusing to back them tactically over the Tories. On today’s evidence, at least, this does not seem to be the case.

The danger for Clegg is that those councillors currently blaming him for their poor results come to see Huhne as less of an electoral liability.

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