Thursday, 19 August 2010

Tick Tock

Apparently this week has marked the milestone that was the Coalition's first 100 days in power.

My thoughts have been pretty evident on the Coalition from previous posts; in summary it has been more of the same. Yes there have been substantial cuts, but these would have to be made anyway (despite Labour's apparent denials) and a couple of other welcome changes. EU policy of course has not only remained the same but voluntarily gone much much further - as expected.

However what really has struck me, and amused me in equal measure, in the last 100 days is the hemorrhaging of support for the Liberal Democrats. They are dropping in the polls at an alarming rate, were hammered in the Bilston North Ward council by-election in Wolverhampton, where they were behind UKIP, and appear to be losing members to Labour in significant numbers. The Independent recently highlighted that:

ComRes found that more than one third of people who supported the Liberal Democrats at the election have abandoned the party. It has held on to 63 per cent of its voters, compared with the 92 per cent of Labour voters and 94 per cent of Conservatives who have remained loyal. The proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds supporting the Liberal Democrats has dropped in each polls since the election and now stands at 26 per cent.

This fall is alarming for the party as surging support among young adults during the election campaign accounted for much of its rise.

So despite the 'pals' act' of Cameron and Clegg, 100 days is too early to celebrate the long term success (or failure) of the unity of the coalition, although it didn't stop Iain Dale trying:
When the Coalition was formed back in May, the cynics said it wouldn't last. The media have spent the last three months vainly searching for signs of splits and laying bets as to who might be the first Cabinet Minister to resign. Every minute mistake was analysed to the 'n'th degree. Every prime ministerial comment was rated on a 'gaffe-ometer'.
This is the first time the Lib Dems have been in power for nearly a century, so they are unlikely to knife their leader so soon. The trappings of power is still a novelty to them. Wait until the cuts kick in and the novelty wears off. Tick tock. Already there are unhappy Lib Dem MPs jockeying for position for when the collapse happens.

In the meantime I take great delight in the fact that Lib Dem voters feel conned:
Alex Kear, 32, the chairman of the Liberal Democrat branch in Worcester, said he had quit the party and joined the Green Party because he regarded the coalition as an "unforgivable sin".

He said: "I have stuck with the Liberal Democrats my entire life but now, I'm afraid, I can't do it when they have betrayed me and betrayed my confidence."

Miss Langdon, 43, who runs a recycling company, said:"I had done leaflet drops and donated money [for the election] but I feel now I have been conned. I might as well have been campaigning for the Tories because the Lib Dems are now propping up their government."
[Long-standing Lib Dem member Rodney Smith] is particularly disillusioned by his party leader. "Nick Clegg has entered into a coalition with a party that has a commitment to unfairness and inequality deeply ingrained within its DNA,"
The Lib Dems duplicitous? Now who would have thought that? As the old cliche goes, any party which has the words; 'Liberal' and/or 'Democrat' in it usually turns out to be comprehensively neither.

Bless their little cotton socks.

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