Will ID cards keep the Iraq switchers with the LDs?
One of the great hopes which has sustained Labour during its recent bad times is that come the general election then many of the former supporters who voted Lib Dem in 2005 will return to the fold.
For it will be recalled that this was the biggest voting dynamic in 2005. Much of Labour’s 6% decline on four years earlier could be put down to the large numbers who went with Charles Kennedy’s party in the aftermath of the Iraq War and tuition fees etc.
You hear it so often when you talk to Labour activists – surely enough of the 2005 switchers will come back to Labour in order to keep the dreaded Tories out?
The polling is ambivalent. The latest ICM poll had more 2005 Labour supporters switching to the Lib Dems than the other way round. Other surveys have been more promising for Labour but we are seeing nothing like the switch-over that Labour needs.
Given that this must be Labour’s priority why do they seem to be doing so little about it? Thus to take one example – a big policy issue where Lib Dem supporters have stronger views than the rest is over ID cards. Many are opposed and Labour’s insistence on the plan being rolled out could create a barrier for potential returnees.
As I’ve argued here before the most interesting polling trend to track is that between Labour and the Lib Dems. It’s also the area where the polling firms are miles apart. ICM has Clegg’s party at 19% while MORI puts it at 12% – that beyond the margin of error.