Never mind, Mark, there's always next time - except then Clegg will DEFINITELY run (and probably win). And it would help if you could have found enough MPs to stand by you and weren't reduced to ringing round LD activists to beg for their support. Still, he did managed to steal some of the headlines from Ming formally launching his bid for
'Listening to Michael Brown this morning... To me it sounded like a child who simply wants attention and caring for.'
I doubt we'll see another £2 million from Mr Brown.
So, it still looks like a straight fight between Campbell and Hughes - with Huhne likely to fall at the first fence (although I still think he's a decent compromise candidate). The next generation of leaders will all back Campbell - bear in mind that some medical opinion puts the chances of his medical problems returning within five years as 50/50 - as he won't last past the next election.
Iain Dale suspects that Oaten might jump ship to the Tories - which wouldn't be a surprise, as there are a number of prominent LDs who would seem to fit into the NuTory party that Cameron is promising. Much will depend on the outcome of the election - Campbell would mean that they will stay, Hughes might force them to go or face another decade of plotting behind his back. Despite a swing back towards Campbell - which has raised suspicions amongst the boys at politicalbetting that it might be a put-up job - I'm still going with a Hughes win, as I think he'll carry the activists, but I think it will be close.