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Should Clegg Stand Down As Party Leader?

55 replies

Swedes2 · 05/05/2011 08:56

It looks very likely we're not going to see a change to our FPTP voting system today. The decision by the "No to AV" camp, to use a picture of a shifty-looking Clegg doing deals at No 10 was inspired. The NO vote is as much a vote against Clegg as it is against a change to the electoral system.

I can't see how Clegg can carry on leading his party. Should he stand down?

And who would take over as Leader? Who would take the job of Deputy PM? Would the coalition fall apart?

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Jojocat · 05/05/2011 09:48

I think the way the No campaign have used Nick Clegg is disgraceful. The debate should be on the relative merits of two voting systems not individuals.

If Nick Clegg steps down it should because of breaking pledges on university tuition fees and not challenging the tories on unfair changes to child benefit not the referendum.

Chil1234 · 05/05/2011 11:56

Clegg made a massive mistake in agreeing to form a coalition before he had some commitments about PR on the table. Forget the peripheral fuss about tuition fees and whatever. The LibDems only ever had one serious political objective that set them apart and that was PR. Squandering the best chance he was ever going to get to make it happen showed him to lack political savvy. I don't think he should step down, however. Would rather have a stable government for another few years until the worst of the crisis is over and he's fairly harmless, let's face it. But,come 2015, I think he'll have to step aside.

lubberlich · 05/05/2011 12:36

Yes he should. Over tuition fees if nothing else.
The LDs have an unsavoury relationship with their leaders in my opinion. I always rated Charles Kennedy and they way they ousted him was despicable. If being a boozer is a genuine barrier to a political career then 75% of Westminster would be empty.

pinkytheshrinky · 05/05/2011 12:51

Clegg's death knell for me was when he failed secure PR before throwing his lot in with the fucking Tories - as a card carrying Lib Dem I was beyond disappointed about this - yes he should stand down but who the hell will replace him. For the record he is an extremely steely individual - personally a lot more frosty than that bastard Cameron.

I do feel destabilising the Government now would mean that we end up with a Tory/Tory House of Commons (mind you it feels a bit like that anyway)

The prob with Charles Kennedy is he genuinely had to be watched 24 hours a day and during campaigns had to have a minder with him because his drinking was out of all control - that said a good politically principled man in himself and a better leader. He was a massive drinker for many many years before he was outed by a former aide who managed to secure a top spot on the BBC as a result - for her it was worth it but he unfortunately cannot ever come back from it.

Now feeling the Clegg is the diluted version of Tory and always gets to make the bad announcements whilst Cam is on holiday......

Bucharest · 05/05/2011 12:53

Is there a chance he might?

Chil1234 · 05/05/2011 13:01

If he were to step down or be made to step down and therefore jeopardise the coalition as a result, this would weaken all the arguments we've heard recently on the benefits of (AV leading to) PR and the consensus, 'grown-up' government style that goes with it. If the LibDems bollocks up their first real shot at government by putting leadership issues above the national interest they would never recover.

Swedes2 · 05/05/2011 13:34

Interesting.

I feel the Lib Dems can't risk entering a future election campaign with Clegg at the helm. But good point about who replaces him as leader... nobody springs immediately to mind.

Perhaps Lib Dem supporters (assuming there are still some) will come along in a minute and tell us under what circumstances they would continue to vote Lib Dem.

I don't think Clegg is a very good politician. He's completely lost stature since the election campaign.

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Chil1234 · 05/05/2011 13:43

Clegg never had 'stature'. He was the new kid on the block, relatively inexperienced at party politics and his best assets were that he had popular appeal with randy wobbly old ladies the viewing public, and hadn't been involved in a sex scandal. Cable and Campbell had stature but Campbell fell at the first for being too old and Cable didn't seem to want the top job. Hughes had the awkward private life. Huhne is woolly. Alexander might be smart enough to wriggle through if he survives the coalition

Swedes2 · 05/05/2011 13:55

Chil1234 - I think he had stature, albeit temporary and no doubt assisted by being the new kid on the block. I think for a while there people "actually. believed. he. could. do. something. different".

I suspect he's really a bit bad tempered and I get the impression he's lazy.

Danny Alexander is great.

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JoanofArgos · 05/05/2011 14:03

I think Clegg is probably a Tory at heart, but when he was at Westminster he probably thought it would be a bit cool and edgy and different to claim to be Lib Dem. Like fancying the brunette in Abba.

Swedes2 · 05/05/2011 14:10

JoanofArgos - LOL @ fancying the brunette in Abba. :)

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Jojocat · 05/05/2011 14:33

clegg a tory?- he comes across to me as a champagne socialist.

GiddyPickle · 05/05/2011 18:32

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pjani · 05/05/2011 19:34

Depends on what the party wants. But if I was a member, I think I'd think about it pretty seriously.

vesela · 05/05/2011 20:37

Chil - Huhne isn't woolly, he's ambitious and strategy-obsessed, whereas Clegg is much more of a policy wonk first and foremost, i.e. do what you think is the right thing policy-wise and worry about the opinion polls later.

Swedes2 · 05/05/2011 20:50

Apparently Huhne is lining up to step into Clegg's shoes. Hence his increasingly upset stance towards his coalition partners (he's trying to distance himself from them).
I think Huhne is even worse than Cleggers which is really going some.

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pointydog · 05/05/2011 20:57

I think Dem Liberals are now washed up for the next decade or so. Clegg standing down or regaining a few principles would make no difference.

vesela · 05/05/2011 21:15

Swedes2, this was Huhne's last-ditch attempt at leadership positioning, but he's done himself zero favours within the party in the way he's gone about it and it's left him in a worse position than before.

Basically, Huhne knows that if Clegg stays (and he will do) then Huhne has lost his chance for ever because it'll be Farron next.

vesela · 05/05/2011 21:19

re. the distancing, though - that is going to happen anyway (has been happening for the last month or so).

longfingernails · 05/05/2011 21:31

Why should Clegg step down?

Yes, he lied about tuition fees, and he is probably going to lose on AV - but governments are unpopular in mid-term.

But the Lib Dems only chance is if the coalition agreement succeeds - that means starting to tackle the appalling Labour economic legacy, reforming public services, cutting taxes, and reforming welfare. Those are important things.

Constitutional tinkering is important only to hardcore Lib Dems - no-one else cares. If they concentrate on real issues, then they have a good chance of recovering (non-student) votes before the next general election.

longfingernails · 05/05/2011 21:35

If Clegg does stand down, good people to take over would be Danny Alexander or Jeremy Browne if the Lib Dems want to stay "liberal". If they want to be Labour-lite, then it has to be Tim Farron I guess.

Huhne would be a disaster for the Lib Dems. Nobody I know interested in politics likes him - not even Lib Dems from either the SDP wing or the Orange book wing. He is an opportunistic, sanctimonious gasbag who dumped his wife in a matter of minutes to save his career.

newwave · 05/05/2011 21:53

LFN, Farron is the only choice, he is pretty good on TV (which is important in today's media society) and he is not contaminated and compromised by association with the Tory filth.

A win, win for me tonight, either AV or the begining of the end of the coalition.

hudspur · 05/05/2011 22:13

No Clegg resigning as party leader would mean the end of the coalition and a general election not shortly after which with the current poll ratings would probably be a very bad thing. What they need to do is to carry on with the coalition and see the country out of its current predicament and hopefully that will lead to further electoral success.

vesela · 05/05/2011 22:49

agreed, huddspur. Paddy Ashdown's interview in the Guardian earlier set the tone - in it for the long haul, finish what we've started etc. (here (I like the bit about presiding over a party represented by an asterisk).

GiddyPickle · 05/05/2011 22:59

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