Thursday, 22 April 2010

Marginal gains for all in pre-debate tealeaves

Kevin Schofield, the former Record man in this seat and now with the Current Bun, has just posted the latest YouGov/Sun poll.

It has the Conservatives on 34% (up 1) Labour on 29% (up 2) and Lib Dems on 28% (down 3). The Others are on 9% (no change).

That could be a sign that the Lib Dem bubble is deflating ahead of tonight's debate.

The result would make Labour the biggest party with 283 MPs, Tories on 254 and the Lib Dems on 84 and Others on 29. (Sorry, but none of the electoral calculators let us crunch the numbers down for Others so how it reflects for the SNP I don't know.)

There is one other poll, the latest Reuters/Ipsos MORI poll of marginal seats ahead of the slew of figures that will come out this evening.

The poll of marginals - seats the Conservatives must win to be sure of outright victory - indicates that although support for Labour and the Conservatives has fallen in these constituencies - their relative positions are unchanged since the previous survey on April 8.

The Liberal Democrats have doubled their projected vote share in Labour-held marginal constituencies but the swing comes mainly from voters who were previously not sure they would vote.

The poll, conducted between April 16 and 19, showed support for Labour fell to 36 percent compared to 41 percent two weeks ago, while Conservative support dropped to 32 percent from 38 percent. Liberal Democrat support jumped to 23 percent from 11 percent.

The numbers of people saying they are now certain to vote has also surged: to 68 percent from 59 percent. Significantly, however, 47 percent of voters say they may still change their mind.

Labour relies on Lib Dem voters in these constituencies not to believe their own propaganda and carry on voting tactically to keep the Tories out.

Labour are full of nudges and winks to Lib Dems but they are going to have to move onto the territory of making a direct appeal to Lib Dem supporters in exchange for bigger promises on PR voting, as Clegg demanded in the Independent this morning.

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