I promised to write a post yesterday about the one man who can save the LibDems. I hadn't quite expected Ming to resign the next day. On a personal level, I feel a great deal of sympathy with him. It's not nice being a fish out of water, and that's clearly the position he found himself in. I have long thought, as readers of this blog know, that Ming's position was untenable in the long term and the opinion polls have demonstrated that he has been incapable of building on Charles Kennedy's legacy. It seems that my remarks on Friday that Simon Hughes picked up the dagger were more prescient than I thought. It is clear that Vince Cable was the man who wielded it. From the LibDem viewpoint he should be congratulated, as it enables the LibDems to make a fresh start.
No doubt Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg will throw their hats into the ring. Both would be good
choices in different ways. Were the election to be held today, Clegg would probably win. However, I think neither of them will find it easy to make their mark with the electorate in the short term and the LibDems will suffer for having seem to have knifed two leaders within eighteen months.
The only man who can resurrect LibDem fortunes is the man pictured above - Charles Kennedy. I have no idea if he has recovered his health, but he seemed in cracking form on Newsnight last week. He has a rapport with the electorate which is almost unmatched by any politician from any of the three main parties.
LibDem MPs will recoil at the prospect of Charles Kennedy sticking his head above the political parapet again. But if they want to save their own seats, they ought to sideline their initial instincts. He's probably the only one who can achieve the impossible - to bring the LibDems back up to 20% or so in the polls.
UPDATE: We'll be covering this on 18 Doughty Street tonight from 9-11pm tonight. Click HERE to launch the programme from 9...