Our two political behomoths - Labour and Conservative have been challenged by the arrival of Cleggomania.
Clegg has, since the successful pusch on the blessed (Sir) Ming played a blinder - a phrase much used on the terraces at Vicerage Road. By maintaining the lowest of low profiles and avoiding any possibility of public recognition he has now burst onto the electoral scene. But what is different? Like Brown, Cameron, Hague and another few assorted leaders of political parties each has received a poll bounce once the public spotted their arrival. But Cleggie? Oh no, his strategy has been to delay all public recognition of his election as leader of the SDP until the first Prime Ministerial debate.
Will the surge in SDP support last? Probably not. They have a very limited core vote and this has been their Archilles heal as a political party. Will it last until the election? Maybe. My guess is that the Conservatives will win but with such a small majority that they are forced back to the electorate within 18 months (aka Labour in 1966). Their chances of winning then will be much reduced especially if the spending cuts for 2011-12 of £40bn are put through which implies in excess of a net 1.3 million in job losses. If the Tories win, they will lose. If they lose they might just win.