Thursday, May 05, 2011

Lib Dem Council Leader Calls for Nick Clegg's Head

Ken Ball declares Clegg has let party down

With Britons going to the polls to vote on a landmark electoral reform proposal today, a prominent Liberal Democrat has called for Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg to be sacked.

The party took a vicious beating during local council elections, losing 168 seats, and control of two councils as of the time of this writing. By comparison, as of the time of this writing, the Conservative Party, the LDP's coalition leader, has suffered no losses (but has picked up no gains, either).

The local council elections have provided voters with the first opportunity to definitively render a verdict on the Tory/Lib Dem coalition, and Clegg seems to have suffered in the eyes of his supporters.

Chorley Borough couuncil Lib Dem leader Ken Ball has apparently seen enough.

"Nick Clegg has let the party down, he's put us back 40 years," Ball complained. "After these elections I hope somebody takes his place. He's been a bad PR exercise."

By PR, Ball doesn't mean "proportionate representation" -- which, for the record, the Alternative Vote recommendation actually wasn't -- but "public relations". {Duh - ed.).

To make matters worse, Alternative Vote -- actually a system of instant run-off voting -- seems headed for a resounding defeat.

Alternative vote was very much Nick Clegg's political baby. But in order for Alternative Vote to be defeated, Labour and Lib Dem voters would have to join Tory voters in voting against it.

Every Lib Dem voter who votes against Alternative Vote could very much be seen as a vote of no-confidence in Nick Clegg. If Alternative Vote falters, it's hard to imagine that Clegg could stay on as Lib Dem leader.

Ken Ball just may get his wish. If Alternative Vote goes down, Nick Clegg will almost inevitably go down with it.

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