Friday, January 20, 2006

Sir Menzies (Ming) Campbell vs Simon Hughes - Heads vs Hearts?

There have been a lot of reminders in the press about Simon Hughes' huge amount of grass roots support from Lib Dems members "up and down the country".

  • We wonder though whether a good number of those same Lib Dem members fear the "Electoral Wilderness" as much as we think they do and back Ming intead of Simon Hughes anyway?

YouGov published a poll of Lib Dem members ahead of Charles Kennedy's departure (although this was a forward looking survey).

If Mr Kennedy does stand down before the next general election, and these were the candidates to succeed him, whom would you most support?

Sir Menzies (‘Ming’) Campbell 49% Simon Hughes 21% Mark Oaten* 13% Don’t know 16%

*Oaten is perceived as right wing, his former supporters are unlikely to be natural Hughes backers

  • Most Libs are worried about Cameron stealing votes;

How serious a challenge do you think the election of David Cameron as Conservative leader poses to the Liberal Democrats?

A very serious challenge 19%

A fairly serious challenge 49%

Not a particularly serious challenge 26%

No challenge at all 4% Don’t know 1 %


So, - 68% of Lib Dem members in this poll believe David Cameron is a serious challenge to their popularity in the country.

We imagine that many Lib Dem members will vote with their heads vs their hearts.

Simon Hughes' backing of a 50% tax for high earners will concern Lib Dem members.

We think that although many Lib Dem members agree with Hughes' Tax policy (as an example) they will be concerned however that such a policy leaves them in the political wilderness - unable to attract needed votes from Tory voters. Sir Menzies Campbell has stated he will ditch 50p tax for top earners.

Special Bets believes that left-leaning Simon Hughes' courage and straight talking (although rare in a politician) will preclude him from winning his goal of party leader - and looks like being yet another scalp for David Cameron. View the best odds in the Lib Dem leadership election here;

Bet in the Betfair Betting Exchange. Click here!


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