Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The cost of power: Liberal Democrat support at all-time low

Nick Clegg's big gamble is not paying off. The latest poll finds public support for his Liberal Democrats at an all-time low of a mere 11%. If a general election were held today, Labour would have the most seats . . . and Lib Dem MPs would number 15 (instead of the 57 in the House today).

The Conservative Party can probably not believe its luck. Since joining in a coalition with the Lib Dems, only the Lib Dems seem to be facing real problems with potential voters in opinion polls despite both parties supporting big cuts in public spending.

Many wondered why the Lib Dems ever agreed to a coalition in the first place. My reply was that the party thought it a golden opportunity to transform their image from being a party of opposition to a party in power. Of course, the party leadership would have predicted a drop in support up front as the party has long opposed Conservative Party policies on the economy and other issues (at least until the last general election). However, alarm bells should begin ringing as this drop in support now looks sustained . . . and deepening.

The problem with gambling is that sometimes you lose. Liberal Democrats may learn this lesson the hard way at the next general election.

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