10 key Lib Dem questions for 2008

Sky News’s Adam Boulton has posted his rather more worldly ’10 Questions for 2008’ over at his Boulton & Co blog:

A lot will happen that I can’t predict, but working from the known unknowns of next year’s calendar, here are ten questions which I believe will shape politics at home and abroad in 2008.

Forgive Lib Dem Voice for being a little more parochial, and concentrating on the world of Lib Demmery:

1. Will Nick Clegg become as well-known and respected/liked as Paddy and Charles became?

2. Will the party manage to stake out clear and mainstream liberal policy lines while asserting a more edgy approach to politics?

3. Will Brian Paddick’s London mayoral campaign take off?

4. Will May’s local election results show a Lib Dem advance or retreat?

5. How will Nick Clegg fare at Prime Minister’s Questions? (Especially in comparison to Vince Cable.)

6. Will Nicol Stephen’s leadership of the Scottish Lib Dems continue to bounce back?

7. Who will emerge as leader of the Welsh Lib Dems when Mike German stands down?

8. Will the Lib Dems’ consistently poll at or above 20%?

9. Who will succeed Simon Hughes as Lib Dem President?

10. Who will be crowned Lib Dem Blogger of the Year 2008?

And, yes, of course I’ve missed some out: please use the space below to complete…

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18 Comments

  • Hywel Morgan 29th Dec '07 - 5:55pm

    “5. How will Nick Clegg fare at Prime Minister’s Questions? (Especially in comparison to Vince Cable.)”

    It would make a very profound point if Nick deliberately didn’t do a lot of PMQs and did his town hall meeting stuff instead.

    The purpose of PMQs is holding the Prime Minister to account (stop laughing at the back!) – nothing says that all the questioning has to come from opposition party leaders

  • dominic hannigan 29th Dec '07 - 6:41pm

    1. I would probably think so
    2. Yes
    3. probably
    4. Far better than last year,
    5. He’ll be ace
    6. I would guess his career high point is still to come
    7. I couldn’t possibly comment
    8. Yes
    9. Lembit
    10. Absolutely no idea whatsoever.

  • 1. Will Nick Clegg…

    It depends… there’s precious little evidence from the Leadership election of what Clegg is planning on selling to the electorate. James G. I think had it right to describe brand-Clegg as a work in progress.

    2. Will the party manage to stake out clear and mainstream liberal policy lines while asserting a more edgy approach to politics?

    Mainstream and edgy are unlikely to be comfortable companions.

    3. Will Brian Paddick’s London mayoral campaign take off?

    If Brian does as well as Simon (16%) and we hold our GLA support he will have done well. If he advances it will be a sensation.

    4. Will May’s local election results show a Lib Dem advance or retreat?

    Impossible to say so early in Clegg’s tenure.

    5. How will Nick Clegg fare at Prime Minister’s Questions? (Especially in comparison to Vince Cable.)

    We’ll have to wait and see

    6. Will Nicol Stephen’s leadership of the Scottish Lib Dems continue to bounce back?

    It depends on whether he carves out more of a personality brand or not. There seem to be a lot of politicians in Scotland and precious few personalities bar Salmond.

    7. Who will emerge as leader of the Welsh Lib Dems when Mike German stands down?

    Kirsty Williams, another question would be whether any of the current crop of AMs can actually make the Welsh Liberal Democrats different or interesting.

    8. Will the Lib Dems’ consistently poll at or above 20%?

    At the moment the answer to that question depends more on a reverse in Conservatives fortune than anything we do.

    9. Who will succeed Simon Hughes as Lib Dem President?

    Ros Scott has a good chance of beating Lembit.

    10. Who will be crowned Lib Dem Blogger of the Year 2008?

    I’d vote for Alix Mortimer at the moment.

  • Geof Payne’s questions are rather more relevant than this pile of relative trivia! But I would not discuss them further here.

    Tony Greaves

  • Cheltenham Robin 29th Dec '07 - 9:18pm

    1. Charles who?

    2. er maybe, I’m not sure, I think we should set up a working group?

    3. Only if he backs Heathrow’s expansion?

    4. depends on how many seats we win?

    5. Just let Vince carry on doing PMQs

    6. Where’s Scotland?

    7. Sian Lloyd

    8. Yes in Cornwall

    9. John Hemming

    10. Iain Dale

  • Richard Davies 29th Dec '07 - 10:46pm

    1. Will Nick Clegg become as well-known and respected/liked as Paddy and Charles became?

    No, and what about Ming?

    2. Will the party manage to stake out clear and mainstream liberal policy lines while asserting a more edgy approach to politics?

    Depends on whether it gets out of the rut of being suspected by many as being Labour’s reserve by focussing its negative attacks on an unpopular Labour government by creating clear orange water between the party and an authoritarian government.

    3. Will Brian Paddick’s London mayoral campaign take off?

    Can’t see it happening. Nice guy but not a lightening rod.

    4. Will May’s local election results show a Lib Dem advance or retreat?

    No change would be the best possible outcome.

    5. How will Nick Clegg fare at Prime Minister’s Questions? (Especially in comparison to Vince Cable.)

    Time will tell as they say but to be honest I am not hopeful.

    6. Will Nicol Stephen’s leadership of the Scottish Lib Dems continue to bounce back?

    I fear that he’s dug his and the party’s grave over that one. The local press are gunning for him – here and here.

    7. Who will emerge as leader of the Welsh Lib Dems when Mike German stands down?

    Peter Black.

    8. Will the Lib Dems’ consistently poll at or above 20%?

    I fear 2005 was a high point and it will take some years for us to reach such a consistent figure again. I also fear we may have blown a great chance by building on that support.

    9. Who will succeed Simon Hughes as Lib Dem President?

    Charles Kennedy.

    10. Who will be crowned Lib Dem Blogger of the Year 2008?

    James Graham

  • 1. Will Nick Clegg become as well-known and respected/liked as Paddy and Charles became?

    I hope so, but he needs to do better than them, we need to break out of the 20% mark – without forgetting that we are Liberal DEMOCRATS not liberals.

    2. Will the party manage to stake out clear and mainstream liberal policy lines while asserting a more edgy approach to politics?

    Not whilst his grasp of policy remains so weak. If this improves and he doesn’t schism the party by setting out a neo-liberal economic policy position then we might be alright.

    3. Will Brian Paddick’s London mayoral campaign take off?

    No – Ken will win hands down

    4. Will May’s local election results show a Lib Dem advance or retreat?

    A marginal recovery in our key/target seats combined with further collapse elsewhere – thanks in part to the communications allowance and continuation of the target seat strategy – which despite its success has some significant flaws in terms of nationwide strength.

    5. How will Nick Clegg fare at Prime Minister’s Questions? (Especially in comparison to Vince Cable.)

    Better than Brown, but being remarkably similar in style to Cameron will not help since he gets his question(s) afterwards – but thats what people voted for (for some reason)

    6. Will Nicol Stephen’s leadership of the Scottish Lib Dems continue to bounce back?
    Not qualified to answer on scottish politics

    7. Who will emerge as leader of the Welsh Lib Dems when Mike German stands down?
    Who knows

    8. Will the Lib Dems’ consistently poll at or above 20%?
    So far there has been a complete absense of a Clegg bounce – his dismally poor campaign did not help and he should take note of Huhne & co’s media managment skills. Hopefully with some lessons learned we can start climbing towards the mid 20s again.

    9. Who will succeed Simon Hughes as Lib Dem President?
    Someone who remains impartial in leadership competitions whilst president of the party!

    10. Who will be crowned Lib Dem Blogger of the Year 2008?
    Don’t really care

    And, yes, of course I’ve missed some out: please use the space below to complete…

  • Grammar Police 31st Dec '07 - 9:08am

    Calum, you talk about “real politics” – presumably that’s why you spend your time reading our blogs, and bl**dy hell, even spending time replying to them! Given the fact that I doubt Boris appeals to the Tory grass roots and more than Ken does I’m interested to hear why you think the usual squeeze will apply.

    “You’re a right wing party with a load of members who want you to be liberal”.

    Given that we actually let members make policy unlike the other “big two”, I’m not sure about this. I can think of a number of policy positions that set us out as non-right wing. Where’s your evidence that suggests we’re a right-wing party?

  • Grammar Police 31st Dec '07 - 9:09am

    Er “*any* more than Ken does”. D’oh.

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