I am sorely disappointed in the upper echalons of the Lib Dems over this. I can understand why they might not have faith in Kennedy and why they might not want him to remain as leader. However the answer was simple, the man had called a leadership election one or more of them should have had the stones to put their name forward and contested the leadership. Instead they pushed behind the scenes to drive Kennedy out. Why? Perhaps they did not want to appear disloyal by running against him, if so the mass coverage of who has done what and said this or that has clearly undermined that. Otherwise, did they fear that Kennedy would win such a competition? If so, and if they thought this was the only way to get rid of him then it is a truly undiplomatic message they are sending out to the voters - it might bite them in the arse.
Of course it is the senior members of the party, those on the front bench who work with him day to day who are doing this. Consequently we have to remember that they have had to work with him day-in and day-out and so had to deal with the problems of his drinking.
All in all, though, it still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. This might have lost them one potential voter in the next general election depending on who wins the leadership election and what that person had said and done leading into this debacle.