27 June 2013

Clegg to quit in Feb 2014?

Liberator 's blog reports that Lib Dem activists may be moving against Clegg as he "seems to have reached a stage in his leadership, where he can no longer disguise his contempt for his own party."

Clegg's speech at the conference of what's left of ALDC at the weekend certainly gave that impression.

I haven't heard anything that suggests an active campaign to oust Clegg, but I have heard from a number of sources within the party that Clegg had been planning to stand down as leader next February, with the aim of handing the baton on to Ed Davey. 

The timing is significant in that it is a few months before the Euro elections and a new leader bounce might save the skins of four or five MEPs who are facing defeat if the party continues to bump along under Clegg's leadership.  MEPs are extremely important to the party's campaigning capacity with well funded offices and the ability to engage with voters in all parts of their huge constituency regions. 

But the handover plan was apparently scuppered by the rise of Tim Farron - who now looks like the favourite to win a post Clegg leadership election.  A Farron leadership would be unlikely to enjoy such cordial relations with Cameron and the Tories and would certainly mean an end of the Clegg project. 

The fact that these rumours are re-circulating perhaps suggests the plan is back on - with the Cleggites perhaps emboldened by Farron's internal troubles over his voting record on Gay marriage meaning he is no longer such a clear favourite.

But regardless of whether any of this is true - I think we are seeing the start of the party turning its mind to what a post Clegg leadership might look like.


  1. Cripes, the Cleggites think that Tim's vote on same-sex marriage counts against him more than...well pretty much anything the Orange-bookers have done since assuming power as part of the coalition, they must be on another planet...

  2. Tremendous forecast: shame it was totally inaccurate.