Liberal Democrats Don't Want To Kick Out Nick Clegg Despite Terrible Elections Results
Rebellion is failing to take hold among Liberal Democrat activists.
Nick Clegg's position as Lib Dem leader looks safe as rebellion fails to get off the ground in his party's local branches.
Liberal Democrat local parties in key battleground area are refusing to even to discuss whether their leader should be replaced, as activists choose to by Clegg despite the party's disastrous recent election results.
Local parties in key Lib Dem areas such as Oxford, Leeds, Bristol and Manchester have decided not to call a meeting on the issue – the first formal step towards replacing their leader.
At least 75 local parties would have to vote to hold a leadership election in order to trigger a vote. So far only two have.
Deputy leader of the Bristol Lib Dem group Christian Martin told BuzzFeed that councillors in his area had discussed whether to have a meeting, but had ultimately decided against it.
"No, we're happy with Nick. There's been a couple of activists that have written to the local paper and made their thoughts known, but as a group on the council, for example, we discussed it amongst ourselves and we are fully supportive of Nick," he said.
Martin's story was typical of other areas canvassed by BuzzFeed, with other senior party officials reporting little appetite among rank and file members for a leadership contest.
Meanwhile the Lib Dem vote share has continued to decline.
Councillor Neil Fawcett, a senior local Oxford Lib Dem, told BuzzFeed the Oxford West and Abington Lib Dem executive had considered holding a meeting, but that ordinary party members had objected to plan.
A source at the Manchester Liberal Democrats indicated that a meeting was unlikely to take place in the city, despite a complete wipeout of the party's once numerous local councillors last month.
The only areas reported to have voted to hold a national leadership contest so far are Nottingham and Ribble Valley.
Furthermore, Lib Dems in Cambridge, Southwark and Salisbury who held meetings to discuss the leadership's future decided against replacing Clegg, according to party insider Stephen Tall.