The Economist: Lib Dems "are lucky in their candidates"

by Stephen Tall on November 29, 2007

No endorsement of any one candidate, but a fairly decent (though by no means uncritical) write-up of the Lib Dem leadership candidates in this week’s Economist, which is well worth reading in full. Here’s the conclusion:

There are reasons to be cautious about both candidates. Mr Clegg has run a flat campaign, and was rattled when his rival attacked him. He is the more natural communicator, but comparisons with David Cameron, the Conservative leader, are not yet justified. His promise of a “new kind of politics” echoes similar pledges by politicians who went on to revert to partisan point-scoring, including Mr Cameron. Nor does Mr Huhne inspire total confidence. His support for massively shrinking Britain’s nuclear deterrent seems rash, and he is also unduly alarmist about public-service reform.

All in all, however, the Lib Dems are lucky in their candidates; and partly as a result, the party is picking up in the polls. They are luckier still in their acting leader. Mr Cable—who coined the single best line of Gordon Brown’s premiership this week when he pointed out that the prime minister had metamorphosed from being Stalin to Mr Bean—is having a very good war.