Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Libdemologists: Not Exactly in Opinion Poll Heaven

Andy Mayer is a full-of-himself Libdemologist from South London. "Best Blogger Since Sliced Bread" blare his Google adverts, well not quite , but "The stories behind the stories in South London" is his own claim and though we must surely have our doubts about the context or the tone of voice he quotes Southwark Labour leader Peter John calling him "The number one blogger in Southwark".

(Best suggested scenario for this quote in comments - bearing in mind Lib Dem previous for quoting out of context and misattributing - wins an accolade, but nothing else.)

But I digress. After an unfeasibly long break in publication this bragging blogger re-emerged yesterday with an essay on the future of Ming Campbell. Mayer gives W Menzies 100% credit for an achievement. That's heart warming. For his personal poll ratings. This is surely a serious case of deflection, scapegoating and scare monging?

Ming IS NOT solely responsible for his personal poll ratings. It is far more complex than that. What are the factors?

The Lib Dem party as a whole is perhaps a bigger factor.

(i) Lib Dems picked him after all. And he has has hardly put a foot wrong at any stage. Perhaps that's his mistake? All the other Lib and Lib Dem leaders made big mistakes. No mistakes, that is his biggest mistake?

(ii) As Lib Dems are not united behind him this will be reflected in media coverage. Even during Kennedy's last days the double speak was frightening. Cllr John "Hospital Hoaxer" Leech MP for instance said in one breath that Charles must stay and in the next that he was backing Clegg.

The Media are way too powerful and have a herd mentality. Such that for instance they did not rattle Cameron's speech but just accepted the silly Memory Man hype they were given. But ...

(i) The media affect the polls of people who consume that media. There is disunity, they report disunity.

(ii) There is a party dabbling left, right and centre with no distinctive edge and they either report that or ignore that party.

(iii) Foibles make news. Ming is too clean from a media POV.

Ming's Opposition are united and have what are perceived to be strong leaders.

(i) Brown has a tremendous record and will quickly recover from election-date-gate.

(ii) Cameron has unfeasibly high esteem just now, largely due to silly spin about his being a Memory Man. No notes and no policies doesn't seem to matter, the no notes bit has stuck. He is now making a positive of the "no policies".

(iii) Even Salmond could be a big factor with one of the Lib Dem nut clusters being in Scotland.

(iv) Even Galloway has a better or at least higher profile.

(v) In comparison other small party leaders will get lower ratings from the broad population.

These Polls have panels made up of the broad population (at least that's the idea) not hacks and commentators. Apart from panel design and composition faults, and the opportunity for a determined operator to manipulate some of them, they are mostly about what's blipping boldly not below the radar.

So even having had your federal conference two or three weeks ahead of them rather than last week makes a big difference.

As a non-Lib Dem and on the Left - near the far left of the mainstream I suppose - I find Ming much more acceptable and impressive than the alternatives.

Clegg and Huhne are brainy and sharp and rich ... but they are also deeply annoying and distinctly not of the left.

Clegg will struggle to shake off his off-his-head arson attack on two scientific greenhouses in Munich as a childish prank.

Huhne is another who has a history of excess - loads of cars and homes, hypocrisy on greening, EU-paid adverts in Focus and there is no doubt more there.

Ditch Ming at your Peril!

Hat tip: : Iain Dale who also links to Ben Brogan in the Daily Mail who has very bad news for Libdemologist MPs.

Save Ming at your Peril!

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