Two politicians having dinner together – they must be plotting the leadership succession…

GQ shows its ignorance of just about anything to do with the Liberal Democrats:

Now that Clegg is in the most stable position of all the party leaders – Cameron has overseen fractures with gay marriage and Europe; Miliband is facing his Waterloo over whether or not to accept Coalition spending plans – this Balham tête-à-tête sparked some mischievous speculation. With Alexander’s star rising, did the Italian dinner involve a Granita pact for the 21st century? If so, it would – in the event of a hung parliament in 2015 – see Clegg step down for Alexander to take over as both Lib Dem leader and Deputy PM.

Actually, they are also showing their ignorance of politics. Like the leader of any party is going to step down in the middle of Coalition negotiations, for a start.

And even if there were to be a vacancy, it’s not just like one leader can just hand over to the next. Unlike any other party, our leadership contests are decided exclusively by one member one vote,  no added influence for interest groups or parliamentarians.

Danny Alexander doesn’t do ever so well in our Liberal Democrat Voice members’ surveys although he edged himself out of bottom five, just, in our most recent one.

But apart from all of that, the act of two politicians going into a restaurant and having a meal together is hardly prima facie evidence of doing a deal on the future leadership of their party.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Ah Danny Alexander, pin-up of the Tory membership. I should cocoa.

  • Nich Starling 26th May '13 - 11:10am

    Hardly likely given that Danny Alexander is highly likely to lose his seat next time anyway.

  • Whatever fills the pages..

  • Caron is absolutely right about the article displaying an absolute ignorance of the way the party works. Also, as much as actually I do respect Danny (someone has to make unpopular decisions when there are no popular and realistic one), I really don’t think he’d ever be leader material.

    This is really just a perfect of example of click based journalism. Publication posts a realy clickable title and sees their unique users and page impressions increase to help sell advertising, the entire model of the Daily Mail online.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 26th May '13 - 12:16pm

    Nich, how well do you know Danny Alexander’s seat? Your comment would reply not at all. It’s one of the few seats in the country where two Liberal Democrats were elected in a single ward in the Scottish council elections last year. We won a by-election in his seat the year before when we were at the height of our unpopularity. Do not underestimate the esteem in which Danny is held locally.

  • “Like the leader of any party is going to step down in the middle of Coalition negotiations, for a start.”

    Wasn’t there someone named G. Brown who stood down during coalition negotiations?

  • “With Alexander’s star rising,”

    Is ‘star’ a Scottish word for waistband size? 😉

  • We are clear aren’t we? It isn’t just the incompetent Osborne’s austerity programme punishing the poor it’s the Osborne-Alexander programme!!!!!

  • Danny Alexander has won me over from a negative attitude 2 years ago … but currently I would not vote for him as party leader … in reality it would all depend on who any future candidates might be. What is non-negotiable would be any “leader” imposed by a potential coalition partner for our party. Can you imagine how this would go down in our party!

  • The first sentence of the CQ quote does not have to be given. Just because Nick asserts that he will continue to be leader and will be leader in 2015 ain’t necessarily so.

  • AC Noblet

    ” Nick asserts that he will continue to be leader”

    Does he also assert he will continue to be a weightlifting belly dancer? 🙁

  • Who are the candidates who potentially lead a successful leadership challenge to Clegg?

    Why are media figures looking for an alternative? Because they are friends of the LibDems?

  • Simon Banks 27th May '13 - 8:57pm

    That last para – seriously? What else do politicians discuss in a restaurant?

    OK, I’m excepting Edwina Currie and the last but two Prime Minister.

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