Lib Dem Conference Round-Up
A round-up from the Intelex team on this week’s Liberal Democrat Party Conference.
The view from Glasgow – what Lexington team members who attended Conference thought at the end of the week:
I think it’s fair to say that Lib Dem Party Conference was far more upbeat than some commentators were predicting. Overall, the Liberal Democrats were in a relatively positive mood, despite ongoing poor poll performance and speculation that they will find the run up to the next General Election challenging. The Leader, Nick Clegg, had a good Conference, which he came out of appearing to have the full support of his Party, particularly on the economy, whilst the Business Secretary Vince Cable has done nothing to improve his standing as a potential successor. At this stage, it’s difficult to think that the Lib Dems will consider breaking away from the Coalition for fear of not appearing like a credible party capable of being in office after 2015.
Lib Dem Fringe events: what was the Party talking about?
Who said what: Our key take aways from some of the major speeches and debates this week:
Debate on the economy: The leadership will have been relieved that their motion passed, and Vince Cable dropped plans to miss the vote.
Clegg’s Q and A session: There was little within this relatively brief session that was new and whilst open to questions from the floor, Clegg faced moments when no hands were raised and silence filled the room.
Cable’s speech: A typically determined speech where Cable drew clear battle lines between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative and Labour parties and set out vision for the Party’s manifesto.
Danny Alexander’s speech: He used strong language to attack the Labour’s party’s record in Government and said that the Party are becoming less and less credible, with a direct attack on Ed Balls’ economic policies.
Manifesto themes debate: There seems to be a clear divide appearing between the top ranks of the Liberal Democrat party, and the grassroots members who are keen to differentiate themselves from the Conservatives by having a greater focus on social equality.
Nick Clegg’s speech: A personal and strongly sentimental speech that was well received, but not a blockbuster.