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They’ll never admit it publicly but LD chances of retaining seats against the Tories rely a lot on UKIP doing well

April 4th, 2014

UKIP Nigel Farage vs Nick Clegg  BBC Europe debate 2 02Apr14   YouTube (1) (1)

Why the Yellows need the purple surge to be sustained

It was back in September last year that Lord Ashcroft produced his most recent examination on the marginals where the most surprising finding was how well the yellows appeared to be doing in seats they’ll be trying to win off the Tories in May next year.

In the eight constituencies polled Ashcroft found that the LDs were only 3% behind the blues opening up the possiblity that one or two of them might be possible gains at GE2015. The critical factor here was how well UKIP was doing siphoning off Tory votes up with a share of 12% compared with fewer than 3% in these seats at GE2010.

If the LDs were doing that well in targets, so the argument went, then it’s likely that in seats they hold the same pattern would apply.

If UKIP perform as expected on May 22nd and their support doesn’t fade away all that much before May next year then the chances are the the LDs will retain more of the seats being defended against the Tories than the national polling suggests.

Although the LDs would never say it the party has a big interest in UKIP’s continued success.

Maybe giving Farage the prominence in the debates with Clegg was not a bad idea after all – an idea floated yesterday by the excellent LD blogger Mark Thompson.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble