What’s Paddy up to?

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Just to supplement Captain Jako’s post below, I have a little theory about what might be going on here.

It’s clear that Clegg is going all out to make a break into Tory territory: not only with changes to Lib Dem tax pledges last year (although these might now be rowed back), but also in his matey-matey performance with Cameron over the Gurkhas this week.

Paddy Ashdown, I think, is of a different generation in the Lib Dems: whilst I’m not suggesting that he’s about to come rushing to the Prime Minister’s aid, I believe that he is naturally predisposed to prefer Labour as the party exerting “pull” on the Lib Dems rather than the Tories. He was a Liberal MP with Thatcher as Prime Minister when Clegg was still a member of the Tory association at Cambridge.

Could it be, then, that Paddy – in making a wild, extravagant and public claim about Labour defections, which, as Tom Harris points out, is as likely to scare off any potential defector as anything else – is trying to force the Lib Dems back into alignment between the Tories and Labour?

Mayhaps. On the other hand, it could just be the drunkard of fate vomiting in the Labour Party’s front garden once again.

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3 Responses to “What’s Paddy up to?”

  1. Jako Says:

    “On the other hand, it could just be the drunkard of fate vomiting in the Labour Party’s front garden once again”

    Picture needed

  2. Wingawang Says:

    These stats from political betting would suggest that Ashdown is in the minority, if your wild-eyed conspiracy theory is correct
    http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2009/05/01/how-are-the-lib-dem-anti-tories-going-to-view-this/

  3. voteredgogreen Says:

    I did see that. Whilst my intuition tells me that you’re not fundamentally wrong (i.e. that more Lib Dem supporters now prefer the Tories to Labour), I don’t think that this data of Mike Smithson’s is talking about that.

    I think that, instead, what people are talking about in this data is more fundamentally about whether people prefer politicians to co-operate in general, rather than to be antagonists. If it were otherwise, why would the positive response from Labour supporters be so high?

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