"Whatever anyone thinks of Lib Dem politics, Ashdown was a brilliant leader of the Lib Dems and they focused on building up by winning by-elections, by building up clusters of district and county council seats and once you hold a number of council seats that you won on first past the post at county level, the perception that you are a wasted vote and you can’t win at Westminster goes.
"The Lib Dems build up to 60 MPs using this approach and my approach is 'let’s build the clusters and use May 22 next year to do it'."So he intends to learn from the Liberal Democrat playbook. The irony is that someone in Nick Clegg's circle recently briefed the media to the effect that we are about to throw those lessons away.
Here is what the Independent told us on the morning of Nick speech to the ALDC conference:
Before 2010, the only way the Lib Dems could get a foothold against the two biggest parties was through targeted, street-by-street campaigns. But he will argue this will not be an option at the 2015 election now that his party has been in government and demand a disciplined central message about a "stronger economy and fairer society". He will say: "The idea that in a general election we can be under a national spotlight and yet run the campaign as a series of loosely linked by-elections just isn't possible."It's a good thing this briefing is nonsense, otherwise the threat UKIP poses to us would be even greater.