Although it’s a year old the findings are still valid
This post has been put up following a promise I made at the Times/Populus Lib Dem conference fringe meeting yesterday. It relates to Michael Ashcroft polling from September 2011 which was carried out in Tory seats that were vulnerable to Labour and the Lib Dems.
There’s has been nothing like it before or since and I’d contend that the general thrust is still valid. The Lib Dems were doing okay in the key CON-LD battle-grounds where they’s hope to pick up gains in 2015. The major polling change in the past year has been a decline in the Tory vote and the rise of Labour. The LDs are broadly in the same territory.
As can be seen on voting intention two questions were asked – a standard national one and a second which sought to get respondees’ views on what they would do in their own constituencies. It’s the change there that was striking.
- Thus while the national figure was 12% it was 18% in these key marginals – a figure that rose to 31% when the constituency point was pressed. More than half the increase comes from Labour voters who, seemingly, were ready to switch to stop the Tories.
The third table points to a possible explanation. Even that far out from the general election Lib Dem activists appeared to be working harder in the seats that matter to them.
At the general election I don’t expect that the yellows will make a serious effort in many more than 75 seats. In the rest there will be a token presence with no resource support.