Vince Cable must be doing something right.


He’s been getting up the noses of some Tories. Apparently he’s their “Yellow B**tard of the Year” over at Conservative Home.

It’s pretty overwhelming: Vince Cable has dominated the stakes this year to be voted the Yellow B**tard of the Year, with a stonking 56 per cent of the vote. That’s a staggering rise on last year, when he seized the crown from Nick Clegg with 31 per cent.

The Lib Dem leader may be disappointed to learn that his share of the vote among Conservative party members fell to a mere 18 per cent. Meanwhile, Norman Baker’s flounce out and denunciation of the Tories only secured him 14 per cent of your votes.

Tim Farron (9 per cent) and Simon Hughes (a meagre 3.5 per cent) brought up the rear, and both will no doubt be hoping that 2015 offers them a greater opportunity to be a thorn in the Conservatives’ collective side.

They even did a bar chart:

Con Home Yellow Bastard Bar Chart

It’s a one horse race.

No doubt Tim Farron will be disappointed to see that he is actually more liked by Tories this year than he was last year. Only 9% of them were prepared to name him as their scourge.

I’m more surprised that Ed Davey, with all the Tory unfriendly  “green crap” he’s introduced, doesn’t feature more highly.

This comes in the same week that the Conservative Home survey found a rise in support for a second coalition with us. Does this mean that some Tories hate us less than they do their own right wing?

What’s particularly interesting is that Tory members want a say in any future coalition.

What may be happening is that while a majority are still against a second Coalition, the approach of the election is concentrating minds a bit.  For all the quarrels between the partners – real and staged – a substantial bloc of party members would presently be willing to give a deal with Nick Clegg’s party another go.

ConservativeHome believes that the party as a whole should vote on any second Coalition – just as Liberal Democrat members did on this current one.  I think these findings help to buttress my view that party members would vote for any deal with the Liberal Democrats that Conservative MPs had themselves endorsed by secret ballot.

Such an outcome would give any such arrangement a legitimacy and authority within the Party that the current one has always lacked.

This internal democracy thing is infectious.


* Newshound in training. I'm sweet and full of mischief, just like my stories.

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  • Eddie Sammon 3rd Jan '15 - 7:06pm

    Vince lands some good blows on the Conservatives, but he needs to criticise Labour more. We need to move onto Labour’s ground of identity politics and beat them at their own game. I can disagree with someone on economics, but with identity politics it is personal.


  • Stephen Hesketh 3rd Jan '15 - 7:38pm

    Congratulations to Vince on winning this most coveted of awards.

  • Well, there are a few more votes lost! If the Conservatives start endorsing us, then we truly are doomed.

  • Vince Cable thinks and talks like someone who would prefer a Tory-free government.
    This is why Liberal Democrat supporters like him and why Marshall Laws (and their fellow reactionaries who happen to be openly declared members of The Conservative Party) do not.

  • I like the bar chart demonstrating that Nick and Norman can’t win around here.

    Now where have I seen that before?

  • Top work that man, though the conhome article is a shocker. The Tories are so happy with how its gone that they’d rather stick with us than lose us? I suppose we’ve provided fantastic cannon fodder (Clegg) that has largely shielded them from criticism.

  • >ConservativeHome believes that the party as a whole should vote on any second Coalition

    Perhaps a sign of realism that an outright one party win in the 2015 election is seemingly remote whereas a coalition of some form seems likely; hence if we are to go down this route, perhaps coalition agreements are in need of greater legitimacy within the member parties, however there is a risk that negotiations get dragged out as people reject what is on the table because they only want things their way…

  • But the evidence is that, once Party agreement is forthcoming, the Party leadership feels entitled to do whatever they want to without ever bothering to consult the membership again.

  • Denis Loretto 4th Jan '15 - 5:38pm


    If you are a Lib Dem member has no-one told you about the regular party conferences which (I think uniquely in British politics) freely debate resolutions with binding effect on party policy?

  • Stephen Hesketh 4th Jan '15 - 8:00pm

    Denis Loretto 4th Jan ’15 – 5:38pm
    “@David-1 – If you are a Lib Dem member has no-one told you about the regular party conferences which (I think uniquely in British politics) freely debate resolutions with binding effect on party policy?”

    Denis, are you sure it is David-1 you should be addressing this question to?

    This leadership, more than any other, has completely ignored those conference decisions with which they disagree.

    The anonymous writer of the lead article states “I’m more surprised that Ed Davey, with all the Tory unfriendly “green crap” he’s introduced, doesn’t feature more highly.”

    I can’t at all see why he should – Ed Davey himself provides an excellent example of how party decisions have been completely ignored. Firstly by playing with words in overturning long standing party policy and then wringing an ‘OK but no subsidies’ compromise from the conference only to effectively hand over billions in subsidy to the Franco-Chinese consortium.

    A prime example of David-1’s point I believe.

  • Denis Loretto 4th Jan '15 - 11:25pm

    @Stephen Hesketh
    The consultation at Birmingham which the Lib Dem leadership carried out was on the basic decision to enter the coalition on the terms negotiated. David-1 as I saw it was implying that there was no further opportunity for members to express their views on that basic decision as the coalition operated in practice. The truth is that every conference has established that despite all the difficulties a clear majority of delegates continues to support the coalition decision. Membership opinion polls have also endorsed this. No political party in government could be expected to put every detail of government policy to its membership, especially where international negotiations inevitably demand compromises or interim steps in seeking progress towards best available outcomes.

  • Stephen Hesketh 4th Jan ’15 – 8:00pm

    Stephen, you are absolutely right to remind Denis that Ed Davey, by playing with words, overturned long standing party policy by wringing an ‘OK but no subsidies’ compromise from the conference.
    Days later he handed over billions in subsidies to the Franco-Chinese consortium to build a new yet already outdated nuclear dinosaur in Somerset. Anyone who pays a domestic fuel bill will for more than thirty years be paying the Ed Davey Subsidies.
    The political impact of this Conservative Party policy being imposed by a Liberal Democrat secretary of state will no doubt be seen in Somerset in just over 100 days from now. Anyone like to guess how many Liberal Democrat MPs there will be in Somerset on 8th May?

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