Panic — and apparent confusion — looks to be setting into Lib Dem ranks over the prospect of Danny Alexander losing his Highlands seat to the SNP next year. Having carried George Osborne’s bags for nearly five years, a senior party strategist has briefed the Telegraph that an expected “anti-Danny” backlash could make his Inverness-area seat very hard to defend.
In a muddled blog attacking Lib Dem “senior strategists”, the co-editor of the party’s largest grassroots website first suggests that Beaker could survive on the back of a locally-focused campaign — before then admitting that such a strategy “is not really going to wash” given his loyalty to George Osborne.
For their part, Beaker and his office seem to have gone awfully quiet. Back in May he tweeted a link to a leaked private poll of his constituency — only to delete it after realising it showed he was set to lose. His office then followed up by claiming that their local paper was, errrr, more reliable than professional pollsters ICM.
ICM’s research showed he was trailing the nationalists by at least 11 percentage points — and this was before the SNP base was galvanised by the Scots independence referendum.