27 April 2010

The polls: Will the Lib Dem bubble burst?

The overnight polls, apart from the non-weighted Opinium, show a narrowing of the Tory lead.   A separate poll for the London area also indicate that 'Cleggmania' has taken hold.

If we travel back a week, Anthony Wells provides a useful analysis of YouGov’s regional figures following the first debate.

The picture could not be clearer.  Clegg has cut through to the voters, whereas the other two parties are continuing to misread the mood of the electorate.  The change that the voters want is not for the Tories.  The danger for Labour is that the Lib Dem surge will continue to eat into the party's heartland seats, together with their core vote.

The campaign and the polls are stuck in a time wrap waiting for the final debate.  Clegg will keep saying what is needed to maximise the Lib Dem vote while at the same time destabilising the Labour leadership.  The Tories will continue to warn about a hung parliament as they have little else to say.  Labour, meanwhile, will have difficulty moving the agenda onto policy due to the failure of their own campaign.

Will anything change between now and polling day?  It remains to be seen if Thursday's debate will change the narrative yet again.  The 1992 campaign was jolted out of its statement on election day, and it could happen again if voters defy the pollsters.  Under our present electoral system only fate deals the unlikely result of a hung parliament .  It doesn't happen by design.

What this lacklustre campaign needs more than anything else during its dying days is an unknown unknown.

1 comment:

  1. I actually think the electorate tends to move towards equilibrium in most UK elections. Going into the campaign the poll leads come down so that the party with the highest poll loses votes to the party with the lowest. In recent elections this has always been a swing from Labour to Conservative.

    Part of this is the LibDem effect, because they only get publicity during elections, but there is a tendency of the UK public at large to not want governments with big majorities.

    This year is different, because of Clegg and because of the Labour implosion.

    I predict that this year the voting intentions will move 2-5% in the last day or two of the campaign, but it wont be picked up in the polls, so we will only find out on election night. I'm just not sure in which direction it will move.