Saturday, June 22, 2019

The best article so far on the Lib Dem leadership election

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The Liberal Democrat leadership election has so far failed to catch the imagination.

In part that is because it has not received the media attention it deserves - the latest polls show we are one of four parties who attract the support of just under a quarter of the electorate.

But it is also a reflection of the sudden restoration of our fortunes.

As Stephen Bush said at the start of the contest:
Jo Swinson and Ed Davey, her rival for the Liberal Democrat leadership, have several things in common, but the most important, for the purposes of the contest, is that they both opted not to run last time for family reasons, and have had two years to think about the direction of the party under Vince Cable and how they might do it better. 
Neither really expected to be fighting an election in which they were scrapping over who was best-placed to take charge of a party on the up. ... 
He went on to make this observation about the first hustings:
Having spent so long privately preparing a case to be given control of a fixer-upper, they both struggled to set out why they should be given the keys to a property in good condition. 
The subtext of Davey’s original pitch was essentially “We need a Paddy Ashdown to get out of this mess. I’m your Ashdown”, while the subtext of the Swinson offer was basically “things are bad. We need someone who can expand and build on a wider movement”. 
But the Liberal Democrats don’t look like they need an Ashdown, or to be put at the head of a movement they already look to be leading.
This analysis seems spot on to me, which is why this is the best article on the election I have read.

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