Time to come off the fence and use my vote for ...

I've left my ballot paper long enough and have now filled it in. I did though um and ah for sometime before marking my cross.

The were a number of factors that swayed me.


Nick Clegg has a warmth, a sense of being very normal that I like and I can see the electorate warming to. Chris has less natural charm, but I actually think he comes across with more authority on issues and has more gravitas, so for me neither of them outscored each other in this aspect.


I have to say I think that Chris won this area of the debate. I back Chriss views on Trident and feel Nick Clegg is not wise to remove our bargaining position on nuclear weapons before the next round of talks on nuclear disarmament. In general, I felt there was obviously a general agreement on most issues but Chris huhne has shown that he has from the front bench been able to get his ideas across as party policy really well and this meant he outscored Nick on policy.


There are two aspects to this, both dominated by Chris Huhne. I feel the Huhne campaign has been better in almost every respect, both in terms of literature, which I have had more of from Huhne plus an obviously localised Focus style "Riso" style leaflet which appears to campaigning hacks like me. But also Chris' leaflets have focussed more on issues than on style, which again I find appealing.

The aspect I didn't about Chris Huhne's campaign was the negative tone of his campaign. His constant attacking Nick Clegg on whether Nick supports school vouchers (which I gather he has said he does not on several occasions) and the disastrous personal attacks on Nick Clegg and the whole "Calamity Clegg" affair, which I felt Chris dealt with poorly and offered a poor excuse over.

In contrast Nick's campaign has been bland and a little too safe.

In conclusion:

For me, there were two deciding factors. I tarted the campaign feeling Nick was the warmest and had the most appeal with the electorate, and I have not altered my opinion of this in any way. I felt Chris' attacks on Clegg were uncalled for and were over the top for an internal election, and this undid all the excellent campaigning he has done. in the other key area, policy, Chris' successes over the last two years should mark him out as a leader, but for me they show that we don't need Chris as a leader in order to get his policies.

So I voted for Nick Clegg so we can get the warm likable leader who speaks with a passion and conviction whilst we get the excellent polices of Chris Huhne coming through from our front bench.


5tracks said...

Very similar reasoning to me, although I waffled on about god knows what for pages of blogspace first to get there :)

Whatever happens Chris should and will have a place on the front bench and at the top of the LibDem heirachy so we get Nick, a good figurehead with his own strong opinions and policies as well as Chris with some VERY good ideas (including the peoples veto).

jailhouselawyer said...

I hope the removal of the fence was not too painful?

You make it sound like a win-win situation.

Daily Referendum said...

I understand your choice, but where is Clegg?

rkjfyoung said...

"Warm.... likeable" This is what I dread: that the Lib Dem membership will vote for someone they consider warm and likeable (which many thought Ming was and still is) and find that again they have opted for a dud. Clegg's performance on Today yesterday (Tuesday) morning was really pretty dire. If you don't believe me go to www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain and click on Tuesday's 7.50am slot. You'll hear Chris Huhne sounding clear, authorative and lucid, and Master Clegg not only waffling, but waffling hesitantly. Put this kid in the rough-house of PM's Question Time and you'd better prepare to pick up the pieces. Bring a bucket and a mop.

Charlie Marks said...

I suppose you voted for the privatisation of the postal service, as well, hoping that Lib Dem policy would somehow be the opposite.

Clegg looks like Cameron.

He sounds like Cameron.

Why not just join the Tories and have done with it?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Charlie, the proposal to part privatise (and put one third of the shares in to workers hands) the Royal Mail would have allowed several Bilion pounds to go towards saving the rural (and urban) post office network. It was, therefore, a good idea.

Greenfield said...

Nick is nice - too nice perhaps for the top job at present.

Chris will make sure our message is heard loud & clear.

Many people wonder what a Parode lead Liberal Party would have been like - Chris as leader - we may find out.

I'm fed up of being 'nice' - I'm an angry Liberal!