Populus poll means – “Lib Dems four seats off being official opposition: Labour losing majority”
Apart from a marking down of the Lib Dems the betting markets have hardly reacted to yesterday’s sensational Populus poll in the News of the World which when translated into seats means that Labour would not have an overall majority in the House of Commons and the Lib Dems would be just four seats short of being the official opposition. The figures with changes on the last Populus poll three weeks ago are:-
LAB 30 (-3): CON 28 (-1): LIBD 28 (+4)
Putting these figures into Martin Baxter’s election predictor we get the following Westminster seat distribution based on applying the partys’ poll shares on a uniform national swing:-
LAB 323 seats : CON 147 seats : LIBD 144 seats: OTH 32 seats
The poll reinforces recent Politicalbetting.com calls on the number of Lib Dem and Labour seats and opens up the unprecedented prospect of a three-way fight.
But before we get too carried away we need to see other similar trends from other pollsters. The next, is likely on Friday from YouGov – the internet pollster which has in recent months shown the Lib Dems to be on lower levels than the other firms.
If the Lib Dems can sustain this and go into the election campaign almost level pegging it takes away the big argument that they always find (see picture above) – that a vote for them is a wasted vote and could pick up large number of ex-Labour voters disillusioned over the war and other measures. In that situation anything could be possible.
For there’s been a seismic change in the Lib Dem poll position in relation to Labour compared with this stage last time. In the final half of 2000 Mori had the party at an average of 38% behind Labour while the figure for ICM was 30%.
While all the focus has been on the Tories inability to capitalise on the Government’s difficulties support for the Lib Dems has been surging and it does not take much of a shift for whole new scenarios to be created.
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