Labour back in the lead even though the Tories make progress
YouGovâ€™s monthly poll for the Telegraph has the Lib Dems share dropping by 5 points with almost all of that going to Labour. The result is that while the Tories continue to make progress the major beneficiary of the problems in the Lib Dems has been Tony Blair’s party.
The party shares with changes on last month are CON 39%(+1): LAB 40%(+4): LD 13%(-5). It should be noted that the poll was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday – so most of the respondents would have sent their internet replies back to the pollster before the Simon Hughes broke.
Compared with the General Election last May the Lib Dems are down 10 points with Labour up four and the Tories up 6.
So while the Tories will feel pleased to be still making progress they will be very disappointed that Labour have put on four points to overtake them.
The Lib Dems might take some consolation in the fact that the internet pollster sometimes magnifies trends. ICM in the Guardian on Tuesday had the party on 19% – so the difference between the two pollsters is enormous.
This poll is bound to have an impact on the Lib Dem leadership battle though at this stage it is hard to work out how party members will respond. My guess is that it will reinforce the move against Simon Hughes and boost support for a “safe” candidate. Whether that is Huhne or Campbell we will have to wait and see.
In the Lib Dem leadership betting the money Hughes has recovered a touch but he is still at 5/1 with Huhne on 2.95/1 and Campbell at 0.68/1.
YOUGOV UPDATE 0745. On the leadership the survey has with all voters: Hughes 18: Campbell 16: Huhne 5. With those saying they would vote Lib Dem the split is: Hughes 23: Campbell 22: Huhne 13.
But at least two-thirds of those answering did so before yesterday’s SUN story about Hughes. These figures contrast with the 62% support from Lib Dems that Hughes enjoyed in Wednesday’s ICM poll.
Only 29% of those polled said they thought that the party was “a credible force in British politics.