14 May 2009

Just look at this poll!

You only have to be watching Question Time for proof that there has been a seismic change in voters attitudes towards politicians this week.  Furthermore, a poll has been published in the Sun.  This is what Anthony Wells is saying:

The Westminster voting intentions, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, are CON 41%(-2), LAB 22%(-5), LDEM 19%(+1). Populus’s poll on Monday evening was taken after the Telegraph’s expenses expose had begun, but this is the first poll taken when people had really had chance to digest it (and the first to come after Tory expenses exposes really began to run). Once again both main parties have suffered, but Labour have clearly come off worse. This is their lowest rating in any national opinion poll, ever. It is also the lowest gap between Labour and the Liberal Democrats for years. It is worth considering that YouGov normally give the Liberal Democrats their lowest ratings - if this poll had been carried out by ICM we might very well be looking at a poll with Labour in third place.

The maths of the poll suggest that there must also have been a significant increase in support for “other” parties, though from the Sun’s report we can’t tell who has been the beneficiary of that.

Moving to the European voting intentions, the topline figures with changes from before the expenses expose began are CON 28%(-9), LAB 19%(-3), UKIP 19%(+12!) - the Sun report does not provide the Liberal Democrat or Green figures, but the BNP remain at 4%, unchanged from a week ago. It appears that UKIP - despite their MEPs own problems with fraud and expenses, have been the overwhelming victors from the expenses row.

I can’t remember such shifts in voting behaviour in one week!  Obviously, more polls are needed to conform these findings, but it clear there has been a predictable sea change in voters attitudes on the back of the expenses scandal.

The political process is entering uncharted waters. It is far too early to draw any conclusions about what may now happen on or after 4th June.  All bets are off.

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