Is it all down to the leader?

by Stephen Tall on October 15, 2007

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog, Lib Dem blogger of the year, James Graham, analyses the problems facing the party in The fight for survival. It’s well worth reading in full, but here’s an extract:

… the fact [is] that Ming is not the problem. Rather, what we’re seeing is the consequence of a campaign strategy (or lack thereof) that has been focused on winning round swing voters in target seats at the expense of all else. The party’s fundamental problems are the fundamental problems we had under Kennedy – poor communications and a lack of coherence.

Back when all we had to contend with was a divided and directionless Conservative party and a prime minister who dragged the country forcibly into a disastrous war fought on a false prospectus, we were able to ignore those fundamental problems because voters had nowhere else to go. That’s all changed. Ming has struggled to improve the party’s performance in both areas. In a party that is constitutionally democratic, the failure to make as much progress as we need cannot be blamed on the party leader alone.