Mike Smithson over at politicalbetting.com thinks serious money has been spent on a recent ICM poll designed to put pressure on Nick Clegg.
Hopefully later today ICM will release the detailed data [*] from the private polling that’s splashed by the Guardian this morning. The broad message of what’s been leaked is that the party stands to do worse in four key seats that it already holds without a change of leader.
The choice of pollster is interesting. ICM has over the years tended to show the most favourable position for the Lib Dems.
What struck me are not just the numbers but the fact that serious money is being spent on the effort to try to get Clegg out.
Constituency surveys like this are just about the most complex and expensive political polling that you can do. They can only be carried out by phone and the bill for this job will have been tens of thousands of pounds. It also takes time and planning. It is not the sort of thing that could have been commissioned last week.
[*] my link
Well it is easy enough to believe that powerful Lib Dem insiders want to be rid of Clegg well before next year's general election. As for the wider picture, I wonder if we are seeing the demise of the Lib Dems.
Without an obviously unique Lib Dem selling point, three mainstream parties may be one too many. The success of UKIP clearly highlights the lack of political choice in UK politics and the Lib Dems may pay the price. Dire he may be, but I suspect the problem runs deeper than Clegg's unappealing political persona.