Should the Tories be fearing Nick Clegg?

Should the Tories be fearing Nick Clegg?

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    How will the polls be affected by a LD resurgence

We have not had any national polls since the dramatic announcement by Ming Campbell but my guess is that when we do we’ll see the third party increase its shares from the terrible lows that it has experienced in recent weeks.

For one thing that Ming’s resignation has done has been to get his party onto the bulletins once again – and usually the more the Lib Dems are in the news the better their poll ratings.

But that’s only short term. What really matters is the long-term and the question of whether the Lib Dems with a different leader will prove to be more popular. And if that comes about where will the support come from – Labour or the Tories?

For most of the recent resurgence in the Tory polling position appears to have been at the expense of the Lib Dems. Thus in the latest ICM survey 24% of those who said they voted for what was then Charles Kennedy’s party in 2005 said they were now intending to vote Tory. By comparison the proportion who had shifted from the LDs to Labour was just 10%.

A view is starting to emerge that a Clegg leadership will take more votes from the Tories while Huhne might be more of a threat to Labour.

This is all hard to predict and it could work the other way round. Tories in LAB>LD marginals might be more inclined to vote tactically for a Nick Clegg Lib Dem party than one with Ming or Huhne in charge.

In the betting there’s been a slight easing in Clegg’s price on Betfair. Yesterday morning you could have got 0.38/1 – today it’s at 0.47/1.

Technical problems.
Sorry about the technical difficulties the site experienced overnight. Thanks to my son Robert for finding the time to fix it ahead of his trip to Paris to attend the Rugby World Cup final.

Mike Smithson

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