Sunday, July 22, 2018

Now there are stories about a Lib Dem leadership challenge

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First it was secret talks about founding a new centre party: now it is a challenge to Vince Cable's leadership.

The Mail on Sunday reports:
A group of senior Lib Dems are planning to meet this week to push for Dr Cable to be succeeded by 35-year-old Layla Moran, the party’s education spokeswoman, who became an MP only last year.
It's those senior Lib Dems. they do get about.
The anti-Cable group is split between those who want him to go now and those who want to position Ms Moran as the natural successor when he stands down of his own volition. But most are agreed that Ms Moran would be more ‘electorally attractive’ than deputy leader Jo Swinson, who is favourite to succeed him.
Jo, it seems, "just doesn’t have the necessary stardust".

What to make of this?

I know it's the Mail on Sunday, but if I were looking to invent a story to interest that paper's readers, a Liberal Democrat leadership contest would not be my first thought.

I take it as recognition that, despite our frantic spinning of local election results, the Lib Dems have not experienced much of a revival yet. I don't particularly blame Vince for this, but it is best to be honest about our fortunes.

And I also take it as recognition that the next Lib Dem contest will not be an automatic victory for Jo Swinson, as many see too assume.

The Mail, incidentally, quotes "a source close to Ms Moran" as saying she is
"keen to build her majority in her seat before considering the leadership. And she doesn’t want her supporters to treat Jo like that. There’s also been a good recovery under Vince’s leadership."

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