Sunday, 25 November 2007

It's in the post

My vote for the Lib Dem leadership election, that is. And as I said earlier, it's gone to Chris Huhne.

My reason for plumping for Chris was that I think of the two candidates he is the most likely to be able to articulate a liberal vision which can attract people to us. He has also shown himself to be a tough campaigner who is also calm under pressure. His economic experience and insights will also be important for us, as economics is not an area in which Lib Dems have often been associated as having much to say. I think Chris is likely to change that.

However, none of this is not to say that Nick Clegg would not make a good leader if he wins the contest. I think he is probably still the favourite to win (my prediction would be Clegg by 54% to 46% for Huhne). However, I think overall Clegg's abilities as a communicator have been somewhat oversold - quite often it amounts to warm words but not much else. I also think that Clegg finds it more difficult to deal with pressure, getting rattled a bit too easily or engaging in bluster to deal with awkward questions.

I therefore think that of the two, Chris Huhne would make the better leader.

1 comment:

The Tory Troll said...

I would agree with you that the Lib Dems are not strong on economics despite having one of the most respected MPs (Vince Cable) in the whole HoC in this area.

I suspect the problem is both a strategic one and (being a provocative troll) perhaps a cultural one?

The Lib Dems USPs are the politics of pavements/lighting/dog mess/local issues, LIT, anti-war and green issues. If pushed to state where the LDs stand on the economy, I think many people would identify them as a tax and spend party.

You won't want to hear this but it would do you little harm to take a leaf out of the SNPs book. Despite being (nominally) a centre-left government, Swinney, Mather and Salmond are respected as being a breath of fresh air within the business community whereas I always got the impression that businessmen dealt with the previous Enterprise ministers because they had to and without any great enthusiasm.

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