Who is the mysterious ‘Lib Dem supporter’ behind the ICM poll showing that the Lib Dems would fare very badly next year if Nick Clegg remains leader? ICM have published the poll tables, saying only that the commissioning client is a ‘member of the Liberal Democrats’.
The British Polling Council rules state that its members must refer to the ‘client commissioning the survey’, and there is some suggestion that simply saying the client is a Lib Dem member isn’t quite sufficient. I’ve spoken to the BPC’s Secretary Nick Moon, who says the Council is examining ICM’s disclosure to see whether it complies with the rules. He says:
‘It is a little unclear, we are looking at it, but we’ve never had a case quite like this. It’s not clear whether the rule includes the actual individual.’
The number one suspect being named in party circles is Vince Cable’s ally Lord Oakeshott, although he is not responding to calls for comment currently. The peer doesn’t always act in concert with Cable, but he has made calls in the past few months for the Lib Dems to leave the Coalition early, and Clegg’s team were expecting ‘one last roar’ from him after these elections.
But whoever the commissioning client is, they’ve clearly got enough dosh on hand to commission an ICM poll, and they clearly dislike Nick Clegg sufficiently to commission a poll, too. Enemies with money and enthusiasm are not helpful, whoever they are.