The Times poll this week showing the Liberal Democrats gaining support is no surprise to me. On the ground, all over the country, there is evidence that people want change. They are totally fed up with Labour because of cash for honours, Iraq and Trident, among other things. They absolutely do not want independence - not even a quarter of people actually support the idea.
So, they are turning to the people who have made the difference over the last eight years - free personal care, free eye and dental checks, ending tuition fees and now pledging to end the graduate endowment, delivering a new Forth crossing, STV for local government elections and all sorts. If the last one sounds boring, just wait until May 4th to see how liberating it is - local authorities will at last be free from one party dominance. People will have a real and fair choice in their local representation.
The Labour manifesto has so few ideas in it. It's almost like they sat round a table and thought - "Gosh, we haven't got a clue what to put in it and we can't be bothered thinking anything up - why don't we just throw some money at education cos people are interested in it." In contrast, the Liberal Democrat vision is clearly outlined and costed - free playgroup places for 2 year olds, one hour's physical education per day, zero tolerance of bullying - even the News of the World has given us positive comment on that one today. A positive vision rather than Labour's cynical and tired effort at manipulating the electorate.