Poll: Cable topples Clegg to become most popular Lib Dem

By Peter Wozniak

Nick Clegg is only the third most popular Lib Dem amongst his own party, whilst Vince Cable’s critique of capitalism struck a chord with voters, a poll has shown.

The poll by PoliticsHome sees Mr Clegg, who at the height of the election campaign’s ‘Cleggmania’ was the most popular leader since Winston Churchill, fall behind the business secretary and former leader Paddy Ashdown amongst Lib Dem supporters.

Dr Cable, meanwhile, received overwhelming support, with 74% of respondents from all parties agreeing with the sentiments of his speech on Wednesday.

The poll will however worry the Lib Dem leadership, with Nick Clegg’s meteoric rise from complete obscurity apparently accompanied by an equally dramatic fall to earth, even amongst Lib Dem supporters.

Of particular concern to those Lib Dems trying to forge an independent identity for the party outside the coalition will be the fact that as many people in the Conservative party think he is performing well as in his own.

Simon Hughes, the self-appointed ‘conscience’ of the Lib Dems, languished amongst prominent party figures, with only 36% of Liberal Democrat respondents rating him as doing an especially good job.

Vince Cable’s enduring popularity will however please the party, especially as the anti-banker rhetoric typical of the speech appeared to go down well with most of the respondents, and will be vital if the party is going to survive what will likely be difficult local elections next year.

Paddy Ashdown came second in the poll.