Rod Liddle

Surely this’ll kill the Lib Dems

Surely this’ll kill the Lib Dems
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Fixed term election? Five years? Can anyone, aside from Clegg, see this arrangement lasting longer than, say, next Friday afternoon at about four o clock? Can you really imagine inner city Lib Dem MPs, and those in the former north west cotton belt, supporting the sorts of cuts we will see in the emergency budget? And if they do support those cuts, they’ll be out of a job very soon indeed. The usually dependable Daniel Finkelstein has heralded all this as a brilliant re-alignment of British politics; but it may finish off the Lib Dems. And all for an honorific title – Deputy Prime Minister (the post used to keep Prescott and Heseltine quiet) and the promise of a referendum on AV, which they will surely lose.

The PR issue is another upon which the Lib Dems have long miscalculated. People who vote Lib Dem in first-past-the-post elections for tactical reasons, or as a protest vote, would no longer need to do so. And the suspicion is that they will not do so. Look at the last election in this country which utilized PR – the 2009 Euro Elections. The Lib Dem vote was 13.7 per cent, and they came fourth.

All of this, I suppose, serves Nick Clegg right for hawking himself around like a Kings Cross tart offering topless hand-shandies for ten quid a go. But it is a shame for some of the party’s fine and principled MPs.