The resignation of Sir Menzies Campbell has been inevitable for some time now, given the Lib Dem’s recent poll performance. While as the Britain’s third party the Lib Dems have always attracted a smaller share of the media coverage, under Ming Campbell this presence has all but disappeared. This hasn’t been helped by his characterisation as an old man, half asleep and out of touch. While Kennedy may have been blighted with alcoholism and accusations thereof, and had a demeanour which spoke more of a cuddly uncle than a leader, he still manage to provide a better front for the party. Indeed, even Lib Dem supporters, such as myself, realise that the party isn’t striking for leadership yet, and in the unlikely even of obtaining it would be thrown into disarray. Indeed, the best we can ever hope for, come next election (whenever that may be) is probably some kind of coalition in the event of a hung Parliament, or second place should one of the other parties do something monumentally stupid.
Had Campbell not resigned he would have been forced out, with the resultant damage to the parties reputation sending its approval ratings still lower. At the time of writing information on BBC News is scarce, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ming’s decision was partially influenced by some external pressure.
I also hope this next leadership election will be smoother than the previous. Infighting and bickering are not good for projecting an image of a united party.