For the first week in a very long time three different pollsters have the LDs in third and UKIP in fourth

March 14th, 2014

And the yellows main gainers in latest council by-elections

It is clearly far too early to draw conclusions but in the week after the Elvis Bus Pass party debacle the LDs have had a good few days in the polls and overnight made two gains from CON in the latest round of council by-elections.

First on Tuesday ICM had them back in third place above UKIP. Then Ipsos-MORI yesterday saw the LDs retain their third place and overnight the latest YouGov poll has the LDs ahead of UKIP who are down at fourth.

It should be noted that ICM and IPSOS-MORI were telephone surveys and these traditionally have tended to show UKIP is a worse position than the online polls.

    All of this is relative. The LDs start from a very low base and the three pollsters recorded LD shares that were nowhere near the 23.6% that the party recorded at GE2010.

The LD week was topped off overnight with two gains in council by-elections – one in Canterbury and the other in Ludlow in Shropshire. The latter is the most interesting because the Lib Dems held the parliamentary seat from 2001 to 2005.

Mike Smithson

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