ICM boost for Simon Hughes

ICM boost for Simon Hughes


    Party President now back as firm second favourite

An unusual online poll in the Guardian this morning should make good reading for the Lib Dem party president, Simon Hughes, in his bid to become leader.

The pollster, which usually carries out phone surveys, used the internet to interview 90 Tory voters, 90 Labour, 90 Lib Dems and 23 who supported other parties to ask about their views of the three leadership challengers. The group split Hughes 51: Campbell 29: Huhne 20 in saying who would be best to restore party fortunes.

Amongst the section of those surveyed who were Lib Dems the split was Hughes 62: Campbell 18: Huhne 20.

The Guardian says that a similar survey was carried out by the pollster during the Tory leadership contest which showed strong support for David Cameron.

    This clearly is a big boost for Simon Hughes who has seen his position flagging in recent days following the Mark Oaten resignation.

Some points to note are:-

  • The choice of respondents for the survey was based on whether they supported the party – not whether they were party members.
  • The sample was very small. It will be recalled that Populus had Davis winning by 50-37 in a slightly bigger group of Tory supporters in November
  • Given the normal lack of media attention for the party there is a fairly low level of recognition amongst ordinary voters of leading party MPs.
    • What punters desperately need is a poll of party members and we have not had one of those since before Charles Kennedy’s resignation.

    Clearly the strong contrast in the respondents’ view of Hughes and Campbell could make this survey very influential and as we said on Monday – do not rule Simon out yet. For latest betting click here

    My betting: I have now laid most of my Chris Huhne bet and have put some of my profits on Simon Hughes. This race is very difficult to call but I have strong positions on all three candidates.

    Mike Smithson

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