It’s been yet another terrible week for the Liberal Democrats. Their decision to support a rise in tuition fees has been met with further protest. And now Labour want to rub more political salt into the political wound. They see blood and are out for the kill.
Prior to the election, the Liberal Democrats had never had it so good. With popularity waning for New Labour and the public unconvinced by David Cameron, Nick Clegg offered something different for voters.
Their poll ratings were at stages higher than both Labour and the Conservatives. Vince Cable was seen as the man of sanity and honour and leader Nick Clegg was making the Liberal Democrats a viable option.
But if there’s one thing to learn from the spring, it’s how quickly things can change in politics.
Lib Dem poll ratings are down to a soul destroying 9per cent. Nick Clegg’s approval ratings have plummeted to -22 from ratings of 72 percent after the first televised debate when he was labeled as more popular than Churchill. Only around 25 per cent now think Clegg is trustworthy and, to top it off, Lib Dems are on course to lose 46 per cent of it’s voters.
Nick Clegg is determined to tell us that his party are united, but with splits on the tuition fees vote, there are clearly rumblings of dissatisfaction within the Liberal Democrats.
All of this makes for terrible reading for Lib Dem members and supporters but very good reading for Labour who will now reach out to Lib Dems who are unhappy about the direction Nick Clegg is taking the party in.
During an interview on the Andrew Marr Show, Shadow Business Secretary John Denham outlined the Labour strategy to “reach out” to both Liberal Democrat supporters and members who are “dismayed” and “deeply unhappy” with the party.
The Shadow Business Secretary suggested that Labour will be appealing to Liberal Democrats over the “months to come”. He added that it is “crucial that the Labour Party is not seen as tribal and inward looking and sectarian but is willing to reach out to progressive people”.
How many Liberal Democrat members and voters will turn away from the party is yet to be seen. But Labour clearly feel there is real potential to possibly break up the opposition once thought of as the only progressive left alternative to themselves.