A headache for Charles Kennedy or not?
A new study by Mori – which has just been made available on their website – projects a House of Commons of LAB 376: CON 208: LD 39 – a majority for Tony Blair well in excess of 100.
MORI aggregated all the data from their surveys in the second half of 2004 – a total sample 21,000 – and produced the following vote split LAB 35: CON 31: LD 24. So Labour would be down 7% on the General Election, the Tories down 1,7% with the Lib Dems seeing their vote share rising by more than a quarter.
On a uniform national swing Mori calculates that this would produce this seat split – LAB 373: CON 175: LD 66. A large part of the study, however, looked at marginal seats where the parties were performing differently. This breaks down into the following trends.
Tory-held marginals. Michael Howard’s party doing better than the average – though this won’t produce more seats.
Lib Dem seats. The Tories have closed the gap with the Lib Dems and this would produce 16 more seats. Labour would get 3 extra seats.
Labour’s most vulnerable marginals Although Labour are down on four years ago so are the Tories so the prospect for any gains here are very limited.Michael Howard would only be able to claim 4 of the 50 Labour seats in this category.
Labour’s other vulnerable marginals There’s a 6.5% Labour to Conservative swing but it’s only enough for the Tories win 23 seats, and the LDs two as well.
So the effect of all of this, according to Mori, is that in spite of increasing their vote share very substantially at the expense of Labour, Charles Kennedy’s party would see a big reduction in the number of MPs at Westminster.
If this is correct then the current IG Index spreadbetting price on the party of 68-72 is a good sell.
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Â© Mike Smithson 2005