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Lib Dem conference: Is Jo Swinson the answer to the Lib Dems’ women problem?

26 September 2012

1:03 PM

26 September 2012

1:03 PM

Jo Swinson has just given what, by my count, is her third platform speech of the conference. All of them have been competently delivered and got her message across. She has an impressive ability to carry the hall with her. One can see why so many of those around Nick Clegg view her as the solution to the Lib Dems’ women problem. At the moment, all five of the party’s Cabinet ministers are men.

Given her qualities as a communicator and her age—she’s 32, one would be tempted to tip Swinson as a future leader. But her seat is a problem. Her majority in East Dunbartonshire is only a touch over two thousand with Labour in second place. Given the unpopularity of the coalition in Scotland, she’s probably going to be reliant on tactical voting by the constituency’s seven thousand odd Tories to stay in the Commons.

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