GE2015 will see the return of big time tactical voting
Because so much has been going on politically in the past few days very little attention has been paid to the latest round of marginals polling that was published by Lord Ashcroft last Sunday afternoon. The focus was on Lib Dem seats and the chart above is based on Lord A”s aggregate data from 17 separate polls.
We’ve talked so often before about the collapse of the Lib Dem vote providing the main boost to Labour in its CON targets. This polling shows what’s happening in seats the Tories need to win but where LAB has little interest.
The big figures are that the coalition partners are level pegging on 32% each which represents a swing from LD to CON since GE2010 of just 2%. This is the best performance by Clegg’s party in any polling and will give heart to his beleaguered party as delegates gather in Glasgow for their party conference – an event that had to be put back from its usual mid-September because of the IndyRef.
With current Lib Dem seats it is very hard to find common trends. In some places they are doing poorly while in other defences there is a CON to LD swing since GE2010.
The most interesting feature and one that will concern Tory planners is that the polling shows that once again LAB voters are ready to switch to stop the Tories. 22% said they’d do so in this latest round.
That’s based on looking at the two-stage voting intention question which Lord A uses. An initial one and then a second asking responders to focus on their particular seat. So we can see from the data the scale of change.
That the LDs might be winning back some of this vote is critical because much of the Lib Dem success in previous CON battles has been down to persuading LAB voters that their best interest lay in switching.
With relations between the coalition partners inevitably getting worse as we get nearer to polling day the easier it will be for the Lib Dems to win over more tacticals which is why I’m expecting the party do do better in terms of seats than even the latest Ashcroft polling suggests.
Expect the very public spat this week between Theresa May and Nick Clegg to be amplified in Glasgow. That helps the yellows.