Yesterday’s YouGov poll appeared to give a significant boost to the Huhne campaign, putting the apparent outsider as the front runner, four points ahead of Ming Campbell.
What a difference 24 hours can make. This morning the Huhne campaign is all-but dead in the water after the wretched and appalling Polly Toynbee, that epitome of the illiberal centre-left, supported his candidature in her Guardian column today. A proud advocate of the nanny state, Toynbee stands for the kind of top-down, experts-know-best politics that Liberal Democrats should be against. Hilaire Belloc’s quip, originally said of the Webbs, that ‘Running the poor is their hobby’ could have been invented for Toynbee.
Suffice to say that any Liberal Democrat leadership candidate that she endorses must be regarded with some suspicion by true liberals. I’m not sure how those impeccable liberals, Calder and Graham, the nice cop and tough cop respectively of Bloggers for Huhne, are going to explain how they have ended up in such unwelcome company.
Meanwhile, I suspect that the Huhne campaign will have to act quickly to arrest the haemorrhage in support among Guardian-reading Liberal Democrat members that will inevitably follow Toynbee’s endorsement.
POSTSCRIPT: I notice that at least one Huhnite blogger has spotted the danger facing his candidate and already fired off a letter to the Guardian.