Clegg now more popular with Tory voters than with Lib Dems

New poll shows net approval of 66 per cent from Tories but just 46 per cent from Lib Dems.

If Nick Clegg was hoping to avoid claims that he's swerved to the right, the latest Ipsos MORI poll won't do him any favours. The survey shows that the Lib Dem leader is now more popular with Conservative supporters (net score +66) than supporters of his own party (net score +46).

Clearly Clegg's U-turn on spending cuts (remember, Greece changed "everything") delighted those previously put off by such radical ideas as delaying cuts until the economy had recovered fully.

The Lib Dem leader is also getting better write-ups in the right-wing press. Earlier today, the Spectator editor, Fraser Nelson, tweeted:

Powerful piece by Nick Clegg in Times today on welfare reform. Shows political courage and sense of mission. More impressive by the week.

Can you remember the last time a liberal commentator said anything that nice about Clegg?

Meanwhile, the topline figures from the poll show Labour and the Tories neck and neck on 37 per cent (the first time MORI has shown the two parties level since January 2008), with the Lib Dems on 15 per cent.

The YouGov daily tracker has the Tories up 2 to 42 per cent, Labour unchanged on 39 per cent and the Lib Dems unchanged on 12 per cent.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Could Jeremy Corbyn still be excluded from the leadership race? The High Court will rule today

Labour donor Michael Foster has applied for a judgement. 

If you thought Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Jeremy Corbyn automatically run again for leader was the end of it, think again. 

Today, the High Court will decide whether the NEC made the right judgement - or if Corbyn should have been forced to seek nominations from 51 MPs, which would effectively block him from the ballot.

The legal challenge is brought by Michael Foster, a Labour donor and former parliamentary candidate. Corbyn is listed as one of the defendants.

Before the NEC decision, both Corbyn's team and the rebel MPs sought legal advice.

Foster has maintained he is simply seeking the views of experts. 

Nevertheless, he has clashed with Corbyn before. He heckled the Labour leader, whose party has been racked with anti-Semitism scandals, at a Labour Friends of Israel event in September 2015, where he demanded: "Say the word Israel."

But should the judge decide in favour of Foster, would the Labour leadership challenge really be over?

Dr Peter Catterall, a reader in history at Westminster University and a specialist in opposition studies, doesn't think so. He said: "The Labour party is a private institution, so unless they are actually breaking the law, it seems to me it is about how you interpret the rules of the party."

Corbyn's bid to be personally mentioned on the ballot paper was a smart move, he said, and the High Court's decision is unlikely to heal wounds.

 "You have to ask yourself, what is the point of doing this? What does success look like?" he said. "Will it simply reinforce the idea that Mr Corbyn is being made a martyr by people who are out to get him?"