Should the Lib Dems kick out Nick Clegg?

Watch
Poll: Should the Lib Dems kick out Nick Clegg?
Yes (9)
56.25%
Undecided (0)
0%
No (7)
43.75%
Mequa
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
I've decided to discuss this here, as opposed to the section specifically devoted to the upcoming General Election. Reason being, the Liberal Democrats are quite simply no longer a major player.

A look at the Electoral Calculus site shows one trend in British politics which just sticks out like a sore thumb: the fate of the Liberal Democrats. Although this is merely a rough forecast, I think it paints the picture accurately enough.

Current information:

In 2010, the Liberal Democrats received:
23.6% of the votes, and 57 seats.

In 2015 forecasts, the Liberal Democrats are due to receive:
10% of the votes, and 17 seats.

To call this a dramatic drop is an understatement. The party is practically ruined.

I consider Nick Clegg to be the primary cause of this state of affairs. As I lean towards social liberalism, naturally the Liberal Democrats are the party closest to my own values. However I cannot give my support to the party in its current state.

My thoughts: If the Liberal Democrats are to become a potent political force again, I see only one option for that party to take:

Kick out the person primarily responsible for ruining the party's reputation, public support, and alienating the vast majority of its supporters and voters.

In short, Nick Clegg has to go. The party needs to oust its current leader, post haste, particularly after May where it seems almost certain the current Coalition will be disbanded.

Does anyone disagree?
0
reply
Toxic_Legends
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
The thing is, I think he's a pretty good leader.. he made it work for 5 years with the Conservatives, when the Lib Dems were seen as more left wing than Labour, so you should cut him some slack. Overall, I like the guy, during the leadership debates I thought he came out as the best leader, making it clear what the Lib Dems really stood for. I wouldn't trust the forecasts because in Lib Dem held seats they are mostly safe with a strong and active group of volunteers. However, most of the votes for the Lib Dems came from students so it would be interesting to see what happens as I think most of them have became members of the Greens? Anyways, I personally wouldn't replace him because I think he's better than the other major contenders (vince cable, Tim Farron and Danny Alexander)


(Original post by Mequa)
x
1
reply
Mequa
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#3
My primary concern here is one of pragmatism.

A leader who sinks a party as he did, largely due to his tuition fees flip-flop (while countries like Germany enjoy free higher education), alienating so many supporters, and giving the ascendancy to the far-right UKIP to take its place as third most popular party by vote, in my assessment committed a cardinal sin against his own party, and indeed against liberalism in Britain.

I would go so far as to say he needs to be ousted not merely as leader but from the party entirely, if possible, if the Lib Dems have any chance of regaining their former popularity.

The party will pay severely if they don't get rid of him and reinvent themselves, in my assessment. Strong leader or not, Clegg has become a toxic brand.

(Then again, there's always the option of another social liberal party being started in competition with the Liberal Democrats. That might be less viable than giving the Lib Dems a makeover, though.)
1
reply
Swanbow
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
I really want the Lib Dems to survive the next election. The initial schadenfreude of watching them suffer is gone. I credit them for making the coalition less terrible, and although I'm not happy about electoral reform or student fees I can get over it. I think that they will be the best possible ally for Labour if it doesn't get a majority. I don't trust the SNP, and aside from the renewal of Trident the Conservatives would try their utmost to derail a Labour government.

But with that I hope that Nick Clegg looses his seat. It sorts out the issue of him entirely for the Lib Dems, and opens up channels for a more Labour friendly leader. Tim Farron is less than ideal, but has been more open about working with Labour and is to the left within the party. Clegg can go on to a successful career in Brussels, and despite a 'Portillo moment' his integrity will remain intact without having had his party oust him.

As for the long term existence of the party they can't be something to everyone. The 'Orange Bookers' although making a compelling case have been electoral poison. They only really appeal to people who know about politics. The party managed to gain over 20% of the vote because they were seen as the more left option. The Social Liberals within the party need to reclaim and rebrand the party. If they don't they risk eventually being replaced by the Green Party, who are actually insane. The Lib Dems have always been a voice of reason across the political divide, and the Green Party would not be that. If the Greens take their place as the protest vote, with some smart campaigning they might be able to take a lot more constituencies in the next few general elections. And if confidence is resorted in Labour and the Conservatives the Lib Dems would be furthered punished. Then they would be left with just a few rural constituencies, cursed to spend decades in obscurity. Even I think that is a price too high for propping up this government.
2
reply
username1149696
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
Nick Clegg obviously won't go before the election, although if he did, it might stop the Lib Dems losing innumerable seats. He will most likely leave at some point in the next parliament: best to reassess things after the election.
1
reply
barnetlad
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
The voters of his constituency may make the decision for the Lib Dems.
1
reply
Mequa
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#7
(Original post by Swanbow)
The party managed to gain over 20% of the vote because they were seen as the more left option. The Social Liberals within the party need to reclaim and rebrand the party.
I agree, or failing that (if the Lib Dems go under), the Social Liberals could break away from the Lib Dems and form their own party. How about calling it, well, Social Liberals?

While I haven't read The Orange Book, I know their ideology combines social and economic liberalism. Leftist social liberalism with a dash of right libertarianism. Clegg is clearly on that side of the party and he brought both the Orange Bookers and the Liberal Democrats in general into serious disrepute. The Social Liberals do not deserve to be tarred with the same brush.

Both Labour and the Greens seem a poor alternative to me. Still, I'd much prefer a Labour+SNP+Plaid Cymru coalition over another Conservative-led coalition.

The Government's policy on tuition fees, which Clegg famously caved on (as a beta to Cameron's alpha?), did indeed harm many people. To give an example, many students who drop out due to mental health issues not only find themselves unable to get a student loan in future (in addition to having local mental health services and support groups slashed), but alternative financial support systems which were formerly in place to cover such special circumstances were also scrapped. With the cost of fees, this places a degree, even a BSc or BA, out of reach to many very bright yet vulnerable people. Go Conservatives!
0
reply
Swanbow
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 years ago
#8
(Original post by Mequa)
I agree, or failing that (if the Lib Dems go under), the Social Liberals could break away from the Lib Dems and form their own party. How about calling it, well, Social Liberals?

While I haven't read The Orange Book, I know their ideology combines social and economic liberalism. Leftist social liberalism with a dash of right libertarianism. Clegg is clearly on that side of the party and he brought both the Orange Bookers and the Liberal Democrats in general into serious disrepute. The Social Liberals do not deserve to be tarred with the same brush.

Both Labour and the Greens seem a poor alternative to me. Still, I'd much prefer a Labour+SNP+Plaid Cymru coalition over another Conservative-led coalition.

The Government's policy on tuition fees, which Clegg famously caved on (as a beta to Cameron's alpha?), did indeed harm many people. To give an example, many students who drop out due to mental health issues not only find themselves unable to get a student loan in future (in addition to having local mental health services and support groups slashed), but alternative financial support systems which were formerly in place to cover such special circumstances were also scrapped. With the cost of fees, this places a degree, even a BSc or BA, out of reach to many very bright yet vulnerable people. Go Conservatives!
A break up would fail in my opinion. There was a break-away party when the SDP and Liberals joined forces, and aside from a few councillors they have faded to total obscurity. The Lib Dems core vote that has remained loyal, especially in rural areas where they will keep their seats at this election, wouldn't easily jump ship, and they will enter a crowded market as an alternative progressive vote. It is best if the Social Liberals just take over the reigns of the Lib Dems, with the 'Orange Bookers' taking a step back. Depending on who the next Conservative leader is they might just be able to find a new home there.

I really like the direction Labour has taken at the moment. Ed Miliband has taken the party on the right course, away from New Labour, but without the un-workable policies of Old Labour. I'm not too keen on the nationalists, and would prefer a Labour majority or failing that a Lab-Lib Coalition. But with the ways the polls look numerically it still wouldn't be a majority, so would need the SNP to support it. I doubt Plaid would join a Coalition, and don't think they will do that well at the election in any case. As for the Greens keep them as far away from government as possible. A Conservative led coalition looks increasingly less likely, I don't think the Lib Dems would be up for another 5 years with them, and outside of Northern Ireland no other party will back them (well maybe UKIP). At best they can hope for a minority government, but it would be a hell of a fight for them.

The Tuition Fee increase was a stab in the back for students. In some ways it is more progressive, for example the higher threshold for repayment. But cutting additional support for students was just plain nasty, and mental health services in this country are unfortunately shocking. That is one area I hope the Lib Dems could work on in the case of another Coalition.
0
reply
Studentus-anonymous
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
TBH considering the Lib Dems were specifically the third party vote for people not interested in Tory or Labour politics, going into coalition with the Tories was a massive ****-you to everyone with old-fashioned Lib-Dem political leanings.

"Oh hey we're the liberal minded not-******** party, let's go and sign up to be the patsies of the infamously mean and cold-spirited conservative party".


Great move Nick, you were so desperate to finally have a crack at power, any power, even if well-intentioned for the party that you blindly walked it into oblivion.
0
reply
Mequa
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#10
(Original post by Swanbow)
A Conservative led coalition looks increasingly less likely, I don't think the Lib Dems would be up for another 5 years with them, and outside of Northern Ireland no other party will back them (well maybe UKIP).
Fortunately, UKIP are not a realistic player in any coalition government which may be formed in May, due to their lack of seats. The same goes for the Greens. Unfortunately, neither are the Lib Dems it seems now, especially with Nick Clegg at the reins.

SNP and Plaid are left-leaning and so more likely to align with Labour than the Conservatives. The Electoral Calculus site suggests that such nationalist parties (particularly the SNP) may play a pivotal role in choosing whether to go into coalition with Labour or the Conservatives. It is highly unlikely they will choose the latter, given the choice. Labour do seem to be narrowly winning in terms of seats (but not votes, which is of secondary importance), but nowhere near enough to form a majority government.

I expect that both the Cameron-led Conservatives and Clegg-led Lib Dems will most likely both be out of any further coalition. While I would prefer a Lab/Lib coalition to a Lab/SNP one, the Lib Dems are pretty much ruined now. Thank you Mr Clegg.
0
reply
Swanbow
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 years ago
#11
(Original post by Mequa)
Fortunately, UKIP are not a realistic player in any coalition government which may be formed in May, due to their lack of seats. The same goes for the Greens. Unfortunately, neither are the Lib Dems it seems now, especially with Nick Clegg at the reins.

SNP and Plaid are left-leaning and so more likely to align with Labour than the Conservatives. The Electoral Calculus site suggests that such nationalist parties (particularly the SNP) may play a pivotal role in choosing whether to go into coalition with Labour or the Conservatives. It is highly unlikely they will choose the latter, given the choice. Labour do seem to be narrowly winning in terms of seats (but not votes, which is of secondary importance), but nowhere near enough to form a majority government.

I expect that both the Cameron-led Conservatives and Clegg-led Lib Dems will most likely both be out of any further coalition. While I would prefer a Lab/Lib coalition to a Lab/SNP one, the Lib Dems are pretty much ruined now. Thank you Mr Clegg.
I'm hoping the Lib Dems hold well in seats were they are defending against the Tories. I don't think it will be as disastrous as some are predicting, when push comes to shove people might very well realise that the Lib Dems being punished will favour the Tories, which realistically most people voting Lib Dem don't want.

My problem is that Plaid and the SNP are very much political adversaries of Labour. Yes both left leaning, but they detest Labour just as much as they do the Tories. But Plaid are relatively a none force, and I think even UKIP might get more seats than them. As a student in Wales I met very few people who supported them, even Welsh speakers thought they were daft. I don't trust the SNP, and if a Labour government does well they might very well see people going back to Labour In Scotland which would ruin the SNP Hence I think that they will be hard to play with, and won't negotiate easily with Labour. Plus their opposition to austerity might mean Labour can't stick fully to their manifesto commitment which seem the most sensible out of the lot, and the last thing we need at the minute is to continue running a deficit until kingdom comes. At least with the Lib Dems they stick to their word so long as you play nicely.

Will have to see how the election goes. One thing is for sure, I want Nick Clegg gone :lol: It will make things simpler and save the Lib Dems in the process.
0
reply
hobbit_
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 years ago
#12
(Original post by Swanbow)
I'm hoping the Lib Dems hold well in seats were they are defending against the Tories. I don't think it will be as disastrous as some are predicting, when push comes to shove people might very well realise that the Lib Dems being punished will favour the Tories, which realistically most people voting Lib Dem don't want.

My problem is that Plaid and the SNP are very much political adversaries of Labour. Yes both left leaning, but they detest Labour just as much as they do the Tories. But Plaid are relatively a none force, and I think even UKIP might get more seats than them. As a student in Wales I met very few people who supported them, even Welsh speakers thought they were daft. I don't trust the SNP, and if a Labour government does well they might very well see people going back to Labour In Scotland which would ruin the SNP Hence I think that they will be hard to play with, and won't negotiate easily with Labour. Plus their opposition to austerity might mean Labour can't stick fully to their manifesto commitment which seem the most sensible out of the lot, and the last thing we need at the minute is to continue running a deficit until kingdom comes. At least with the Lib Dems they stick to their word so long as you play nicely.

Will have to see how the election goes. One thing is for sure, I want Nick Clegg gone :lol: It will make things simpler and save the Lib Dems in the process.
I like your thinking very much. You seem to articulate most of my own thoughts better than I could myself. Good work!
0
reply
#Ridwan
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
Tim Farron would destroy the Lib Dems.

I don't get why he doesn't just go and join Labour.
1
reply
Davij038
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#14
Report 5 years ago
#14
No.

Firstly he will be leaving in the near future anyway. It won't make a blind bit of difference now.

Secondly I don't think he will be losing his seat, (labour haven't spent a penny other than on a website for their candidate in hallam)

Thirdly I predict (as does some proffessor guy who predicted 2010) that we will do far better than expected (48 seats).

My belief is that clegg was in a lose-lose situation. If he hadn't joined Cameton he would have been irresponsible and a joke. It's all well having ideas such as the greens and being content knowing you'll never be in government. Remember this was the first coalition since 1945 and people thought it wouldn't work. Remember there was a recession. Remember that the labour government was pro ID cards, child immigrant detention centers and had one of the most unpopular PMs in living memory.

We have reversed labours authoritarian measures, we have brought jobs and prosperity alone amongst Europe. Look how France has fared. We have implemented all of our front page policies.

There are problems in the party no doubt, but I truly think that for any genuine Liberal the Lib Dems are miles better than anything else on offer.

And I've got to say this too- to any 'social liberal' an orange booker is still more preferable than the authoritarian labcons because unlike them Liberals of either social or classical flavours will put the freedom of the individual at the heart of their endeavours.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should there be a new university admissions system that ditches predicted grades?

No, I think predicted grades should still be used to make offers (605)
33.84%
Yes, I like the idea of applying to uni after I received my grades (PQA) (749)
41.89%
Yes, I like the idea of receiving offers only after I receive my grades (PQO) (354)
19.8%
I think there is a better option than the ones suggested (let us know in the thread!) (80)
4.47%

Watched Threads

View All