Friday, April 16, 2010

Clegg effect pushes Labour into third (and first) place

Well, we didn’t have to wait long. YouGov tonight gives us (changes from yesterday):

Con 33% (-4), Lib Dem 30% (+8), Lab 28% (-3)

Astonishing. If we imagine a 65% turnout, this poll implies nearly two and a half million people switching to the Lib Dems overnight. All based on the discovery that a man they’d not paid much attention to actually comes across as a bit more reasonable than the two men they already knew pretty well.

It’s at times like these that I wonder whether ‘voting intention’ polls really do measure actually existing voting intentions and not just which party has made the best impression lately. We’ll have to see whether this can be sustained – I doubt it, but either way, it’s the most fascinating poll shift that I can recall during an election campaign.

The curious thing, though, is what this means for the outcome for seats in Parliament (using Electoral Calculus and assuming a uniform national swing).

The previous day’s poll (C37, L 31, LD22) would have given the Tories 287 seats, Labour 271 and the Lib Dems 60 (Tories 39 short of a majority). But this new poll – because the Tory lead over Labour has narrowed, and because there aren’t that many seats where the Lib Dems have much of a shot – would actually put Labour in front with 263 seats, the Tories 254 and the Lib Dems 101.

And you wonder why they want electoral reform...

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