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What does the Brighton poll say about tactical voting?

December 29th, 2009


Brighton Pavilion Poll:
CON 27% (+4)
LAB 25% (-13)
LD 11% (-5)
GRN 35% (+14)

Is it about who is best placed to impede the Tories?

I’ve now got the full dataset from the ICM poll of the Brighton Pavillion constituency which suggests that the party could win its first ever Westminster MP at the general election – the headline figures, with comparisons on the 2005 general election in the seat.

But it’s the detail of the poll that could have CCHQ worried. For this shows even in a current Labour-held seat a great readiness by those who supported Blair’s party in 2005 to switch and use their vote in a way that might most hinder the Tories.

Thus while only 52% of 2005 Labour voters are sticking with the party 27% say they are voting Green. This is even more acute with the Lib Dems where 29% of the 2005 voters now plan to vote for the Green candidate, the party leader, Caroline Lucas. It’s these big movements which are behind the headline figures.

What the mere fact of having the poll is likely to do is to reinforce further the Green’s position as the party that can stop the Tories thus encouraging more tactical switching – hence the reason why the Green party commissioned it and are making it public.

The dynamic shown here is probably good news for the Lib Dems in three-way marginals. If they can show that they are best placed to stop the Tories then you can see a lot of Labour switching – even in seats currently held by Brown’s party.

It should be noted that the sample size was just 533 which with all the other calculations comes out at about 5%.

I’ve just got another £100 bet on, this time at 6/4, with Victor Chandler that the Greens will win a seat at the general election. It looks good to me.

Mike Smithson