There can be no denying the significance of the YouGov poll published today giving Chris Huhne a four point lead (albeit from a smallish sample). YouGov have achieved excellent results with their cheekily simple method of polling via an internet panel. Their predictions on the Tory leader race turned out to be very accurate indeed. This poll marks a watershed. Huhne has been transformed from a candidate who many members favoured, but perhaps doubted whether he could beat the mighty Ming, into someone who really looks like a winner. I am minded here of the old Guardian poll which showed that 36% of respondents would vote Lib Dem ‘if they thought they could win’. Now members can be confident that Chris can win – and as a result will move him from second preference to first on their ballot.
Chris’s success has also clearly got a few people rattled. There’s been an explosion of anonymous comments on blogs and other sites trying to rubbish Huhne. Anonymous comments mean little – anyone can snipe from behind the shield of anonymity. Frankly, we don’t know if the anonymous commentators are even Lib Dems. I believe that Tories and NuLab also fear Chris Huhne. The last thing they need now is for us to elect a solid, credible leader.
Those members who haven’t already returned their ballot papers will, I’m sure, be glued to Question Time tonight. A poor performance from anyone tonight will surely be his ‘David Davis’ moment. I am convinced that Huhne will convince many more tonight that he really is the candidate that will strike fear into the hearts of the other parties, and that is why we must elect him.