Lansons Conversations

Day 15 – Good day – bad day

Good day – The voter Bad day – Negative campaigning The current Clegg-mania obscures the fact that his day got off rather badly with tough questioning from Andrew Neil on Clegg’s expense claims. Rougher stuff for the Lib Dem leader but if and until the bubble bursts Clegg and his team will be subject to a far greater scrutiny than has been the case. The Tories experienced different stages of grief after Cameron’s debate performance died, from denial to anger to now, a change of strategy. They will desperately hope to land blows on Clegg on Thursday night but it is, arguably, less easy on foreign affairs. The real potential for harm is on attacking Clegg’s trident policy and painting him as a euro federalist. But there’s a potential that the voters have made their mind up already. Not made their mind up to vote Lib Dem at the levels polls indicate, necessarily, but made their mind up that Clegg, one way or another, is to be the hero figure of this campaign. Negativity and picking apart the Lib Dems may not be as effective a threat as people think. There is evidence elsewhere that the public aren’t going to just do what they are told. The long standing City fears about hung Parliament instability threatening the economy seemingly isn’t washing with voters either, with the electorate actively fancying the idea. Voters are a tricky enough crowd at the best of times. Voters enthusiastically finding a sense of inner rebellion are far, far, trickier.