BES study shows that voters in LD seats have far more trust in their MPs than those in LAB or CON constituencies

December 21st, 2014

A bit of Xmas cheer for the LDs

Earlier in the month a big divide appeared between the huge joint university initiative, the British Election Study, and Lord Ashcroft’s polling of individual CON facing LD held seats. The former pointed to disaster while aggregate data from latter’s latest batch found that the yellows were 9% ahead.

    The reason, of course, is that you get very different responses in these seats when you ask voters, as Lord A does, to think specifically about the candidates who will stand locally and the generic national voting questions.

This was very much reinforced by the above BES data from Nottingham’s Prof Phil Cowley, on the differing responses when you ask whether people trust their own MPs. The actual question was how much trust responders had in MPs ‘in general’ and how much they have in the MP ‘in your local constituency’. The response were on a seven point scale, from 1 (no trust) to 7 (a lot of trust).

The chart shows views of those in LAB/CON and LD-held seats and highlights the split between those who say they will vote for their incumbent (supporters) and those who won’t (opponents).

As can be seen there was a markedly different response pattern from those in CON and LAB held seats and those in LD ones. Even opponents in the latter had a net negative of just 4.4%.

Another interesting finding was whether voters knew the name of their MP. Of those with Labour MPs, under 70% knew his/her while for Tories, the figure was just over 70%. But of those with LD MPs, the name recognition level was 82%.

The Lib Dems look set to lose a lot of MPs on May 7th but not on the scale that poll ratings of 6% suggest.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble