Blogs Coffee House

Proof that the Liberal Democrats are a party of ninnies

30 June 2014

4:44 PM

30 June 2014

4:44 PM

I know that it is unfashionable to feel sorry for Liberal Democrat MPs. Nevertheless there are times when, contemplating their unhappy lot,  it seems appropriate to feel the odd pang of pity.

The latest polling from Lord Ashcroft furnishes one of these rare moments. He asked punters who they would like to see form the next government. As you would expect 77 percent of Tory supporters want a Conservative government while 14 percent actually rather like being in coalition with the Lib Dems and would be quite happy to see that arrangement continue. The picture is much the same amongst Labour voters. 80 percent say they want Labour to govern alone and 12 percent think a Labour-Lib Dem alliance would be better for Britain.

But what of the remaining Lib Dem voters? Only 70 percent of them favour being in power after the next election. 28 percent thirst for a renewal of vows with the Tories and 42 percent want to ditch the Conservatives and hope into bed with Labour.


Which leaves 30 percent of Lib Dem voters hoping that the party does not return to government. Granted, seven percent of them have no idea what they think but 17 percent hope Labour form the next government and six percent want Mr Cameron to remain in Downing Street.

What is the point of a political party that’s neither interested in winning power nor, I suspect, in winning arguments? A party that preens and congratulates itself for being ‘above’ mere grubby politics but that actually is really just about a polite form of copping-out and quitting the game.

What serious politician would want to lead such a self-indulgent rabble? So while it is all very well and good and all very good and entertaining and sometimes even necessary to pour scorn on Nick Clegg and his colleagues we might pause, just occasionally, to pity them and remember that, by gosh, they just might be better than the people and party they lead.

Because, really, what is to be done with a party in which one in four of its supporters actively hope someone else wins the next election?

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • allymax bruce

    Alex, can we include Andrew Neil in your list of ‘ninnies’? He pathetically blabbed about being ‘subject to some ‘cybernat’ abuse too’; what? Like he’s above moral reproach in his grievous interrogation style of ‘cybernats’???
    Andrew, don’t make me laugh …. (allymax).

  • CharlietheChump

    “What serious politician would want to lead such a self-indulgent rabble”?


  • swatnan

    Best avoid the Conference Hall after Lunch is served of lentils & beans.

  • David Booth.

    “What’s the point of the LibDims I hear you yawn”
    Well it acts as a collection point for all the fruit cake’s in British Politics.

  • Maidmarrion

    Seems that Ming the Merciless has aided and abetted a somewhat suspect committee

    to reach this disgusting conclusion,

    But the 43-page report by the cross-party Trident commission – which includes two former defence secretaries, Labour peer Lord Browne, and the Conservatives’ Sir Malcolm Rifkind, as well as former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell – backs the nuclear deterrent.

    In its key finding, it says: “If there is more than a negligible chance that the possession of nuclear weapons might play a decisive future role in the defence of the United Kingdom and its allies in preventing nuclear blackmail or in affecting the wider security context with which the UK sits, then they should be retained.”
    Where they are going to dump it is an interesting question.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Are you paid by the word?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Must be… they’re being slung out with a coal shovel.

  • CraigStrachan

    THREE blogs on the one day! Are you not watching France/Nigeria?

  • monty61

    It really doesn’t matter, any of it. The Liberals are toast at the next election. And good riddance.