I’ve just been lounging about reading the Guardian. The best bit of the Saturday Guardian, I think, is The Guide. And the best bit of The Guide is often The Hard Sell, on p.3, which is a usually-hilarious take on a telly advert. It’s been a funny old week, for me anyway, so I thought I could do with more hilarity than the bite-size chunk provided by David Stubbs on the Football League ad. The obvious next port of call was therefore the big piece all about the vision of Nick Clegg. His ideas, I mean, not his eyesight.
I’m not going to attempt a line-by-line critique of the great man’s thoughts, I mean you’ve read this far and I’m kind of hoping you’ll read to the end. I just thought I’d make a wider observation. It’s that I don’t understand, I really don’t, why people would use their vote in a way which ensures they don’t know whether they’re helping a Labour or Conservative leader into power.
I don’t doubt the decency and sincerity of Lib Dem voters and enthusiasts. And I don’t deny that there are plenty of clever Lib Dems who can put together a coherent rationale for why they do their politics as they do. Yet up here in Scotland, I don’t know a single Lib Dem who wants to see David Cameron as prime minister. So why on earth would they want their leader to back the Tories in the (unlikely, I think) event that they do end up as the largest party in a hung parliament?
Actually, I think the answer might be that a lot of putative Lib Dem voters will vote Labour as an expression of their distaste for the Tories. I also think that the other side of the coin is that a lot will also vote Tory as an expression of their distaste for Labour. So while most potential Lib-Dem voters will actually vote Lib Dem, a large number will make their own decision about who they’d prefer to see (or not see) as prime minister, rather than leaving it up to Nick C who seems to be saying he’ll abrogate his decision to simple arithmetic.
I have a bet on with a friend that there won’t be a hung parliament. Actually, the the way the polls are going, I think Labour will indeed pull it off. Helped by decisive Lib Dem sympathisers who will grit their teeth but vote against a Cameron government. We’ll see soon enough.