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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Curse of the Were-Lembit

In a typically frank interview with the Western Mail yesterday Lembit Opik said that he will not be revealing who he is backing for the party's leadership.

He said, "I was due to announce who I was backing, but I realise now it's more complicated: there's a new phenomenon called the curse of Lembit. After supporting Charles Kennedy for leader at the beginning of the year and Mark Oaten more recently, everyone is worried that my support might be the kiss of death.

Many people suspect I may be behind the troubles faced by Sven Goran Eriksson. I actually bumped into David Cameron earlier, and if I endorse him and Tony Blair the Liberal Democrats should be in government by the end of next week."

Lembit should of course take heart that it is still possible to use his name on the island of Portland without disaster befalling the inhabitants.

Meanwhile, it is time that the media started to get real. The story now appears to be that the Liberal Democrats are in freefall with the Western Mail citing the Election Calculus website as indicating that the party could lose 50 seats at the next general election. Presumably, they used this site as they are too mean to pay for a real political pundit. The Tories too, are celebrating at securing the defection of an obscure Liberal Democrat who, as James Graham pointed out could not even be bothered to sort out a proper photograph for the party's website - not so much a scalp as a toupé.

Despite all this hype, the latest ICM survey, published yesterday, put the Tories on 38%, Labour on 37% and the Liberal Democrats on 19%. Even with the Liberal Democrats in turmoil David Cameron cannot attract enough of our support to secure a decent lead over Labour, whilst my party remains at some of its highest opinion poll levels for many years. With a new leader the prospect is offered that the Liberal Democrats could build on that 19% and reach new heights of support. Perhaps it is the Tories who are the party really in crisis.
19% without a leader. The only way from here is up.

And credit to CK that he would big up the rest of the party, a kind of anti-Blair.
The poll was taken before the Oaten revelations were widespread and before the stuff about Simon Hughes appeared in the Sun. Hughes now looks a fool after his comments last week in the independent.

The alternative scenario is that there are perhaps further revelations as its open season on the Lib dems just now. The Libs do badly in the by election in scotland and the polls show a further slide in support. Ming safe pair of hands becomes leader the slide halts but there is no further recovery. The young right wing element keep coming up with daft ideas like privatising the Royal Mail thus dominating conference etc but showing the party to very divided on policy issues. Along comes the general election the Libs lose 10 seats overall and the internal conflict gets worse.
Dream on!
You Gov poll has Lib Dems down to 13%. Down 5 points from last poll.

Dreams can come true....
Like all dreams, you have to wake up eventually.
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