Hopi Sen is right: The 2010 LDs now saying don’t know could be crucial and need to be looked at

Hopi Sen is right: The 2010 LDs now saying don’t know could be crucial and need to be looked at

Markedly more in the marginals have made up their minds

We’ve talked a lot on PB about the 2010 LDs who’ve switched to LAB but that is not the whole picture as ex-Labour staffer blogger Hopi Sen notes. In an interesting post he highlights a significant group of voters who hardly get any attention to – the 2010 LDs who now say don’t know. He writes:-

These people are not non-voters. They voted. They’re just not sure if, or how, they will next time.

Don’t Knows and Won’t votes make up somewhere between a fifth to a quarter of all Lib Dem voters at the last election.

That’s roughly one million to one and a half million votes. Just sitting there.

Are they after all going to return to their allegiance, will they go to UKIP/LAB/CON or will they decide to give GE2015 a miss?

Given that they make up perhaps 5% of the electorate and are people who actually turn out to vote then they could play a key role.

Finding data information about them from published polling is quite difficult because they are not highlighted as a sub-set. But there is some interesting information in the 12.8k sample marginals poll carried out by Lord Ashcroft in August/September.

This was, and it will be recalled, divided into three sections: LAB-CON marginals, LD-CON marginals and national comparison poll carried out at the same time.

What we see, for comparison, is that there is a sizeable chunk of 2010 CON and LAB voters who also don’t give voting. They amount to about 14—15%. The LD component is much bigger in the national poll as can be seen in the chart. But in the two surveys of the marginals there are fewer of them and their profile is closer to 2010 voters of the other main parties then it is in the national poll.

So where their vote will matter they are more likely to have made up their minds. In the LAB-CON marginals a lot more have switched to LAB while in the seats that the LDs want to take from the Tories more are saying they’ll remain yellow.

What we don’t know is whether this pattern will apply to the rest.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble since 2004

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