POLITICS: Clegg faces revolt as LibDem MPs’ unease turns into panic.

Liberal Democrat MP discontent with the Coalition has been gathering impetus over the weekend, the Slog has learned. Despite a Guardian survey of Lib Dem MPs showing consensus that tough action needs to be taken on the UK’s fiscal deficit, they hadn’t then seen research by ICM for the Sunday Telegraph. This showed Nick Clegg’s party down five points on 16% – its lowest rating for 18 months – but the Lib Dems’ Conservative partners thriving at 41%. Labour was also up at 35%.

“The Party is turning into the Nick Clegg show” said one, adding “It feels to some of us like a return to two-party politics, minus us”.

One has to be careful with such leaks: this has been the standard Hughesite line for some time now. But the two Ugly Former Leaders Charles Kennedy and Ming Campbell continue to stoke up fears about what’s happening.

LibDem grass roots activists remain as ever virulently critical of the Coalition per se, and Clegg’s careerism in particular. But I understand the the ‘flock of new members’ into the Labour Party was merely Lord Mandelson’s parting gift of mendacity: looking at sites like Liberal Conspiracy, there isn’t much sign of practical thinking about what the alternative to the Cleggeroons might be. Mainstream Liberal Democrat voters remain 4:1 in favour of the Osborne Budget….again showing a huge mismatch between the LibDem wonks and the real supporters.

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