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Are Lib Dem voters still being loyal to Gordon?

October 31st, 2006

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    Will today’s YouGov data give a better pointer to tactical voting?

Detailed data from the October YouGov poll for the Daily Telegraph, due out sometime today, should provide an indication of how tactical voting might impact on the next General Election.

The poll, it will be recalled had a CON 46% – Lab 33% split to the question “If you had to choose, which would you prefer to see after the next election, a Conservative Government led by David Cameron or a Labour Government led by Gordon Brown?”. What poll watchers will be looking at is how the Lib Dem voters in the survey responded and the detailed data should provide the answer.

Two months after Cameron had been elected Tory leader, in February, the Lib Dems responded CON 22% – LAB 52% when asked this forced question. By June, when the question was asked again, Lib Dem voters were still overwhelmingly with Labour and split CON 28% – LAB 48%. In August this had moved to CON 35% – LAB 44%.

Could today’s figures show that the two main parties were nearer to level-pegging? Given the way the top-line figures have moved then there is a good chance that this might have happened.

I regard this as quite important because one of the factors that has given Labour more seats for its vote share has been anti-Tory tactical voting. This happened again in 2005 where Labour incumbents in Lab-Con marginals performed better than the party generally – a sign, it’s suggested, of Lib Dems and others switching to stop the Tories.

    If there are signs that anti-Tory tactical voting might not happen on the same scale then the seat predictors could be giving an over-optimistic view of Labour’s position.

Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report has now posted full list of polling responses to the question since since the famous 2003 survey that had Iain Duncan Smith trailing Tony Blair by just 3%.

UPDATE 10am: The YouGov data has now been published and the Lib Dems in the sample split CON 36-LAB 42 on the question “If you had to choose, which would you prefer to see after the next election, a Conservative Government led by David Cameron or a Labour Government led by Gordon Brown?”.

Mike Smithson

    Politicalbetting.com – the UK’s most read political blog





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