Team Huhne: Chris is catching up

by Stephen Tall on December 5, 2007

At the weekend, Nick Clegg’s campaign team released their canvassing figures of c.6,000 members showing Nick polling around 60% of the vote. The party estimates that about half the ballot papers issued have been returned; in 2006, c.70% of members voted. Taken at face value, this would suggest that Chris Huhne needs to persuade a large number of those who’ve sat on their hands til now to cast their vote for him.

Chris Huhne’s campaign team have just now issued details of polling figures “obtained by an independent third party organisation” (not named), showing undecided Lib Dem voters breaking overwhelmingly for their guy. These are the figures they’ve supplied:

Chris Huhne definite – 44.7%*
Nick Clegg definite – 15.2%
Chris Huhne leaning – 5.3%
Nick Clegg leaning – 1.5%
Undecided – 17.5%
Won’t say – 14.4%

Their press release notes state: “A survey of 1,000 randomly selected Party members was carried out by an independent organisation. The polling was carried out in three batches – the figures above reflect the data acquired over the period 27 Nov – 4 Dec. Amalgamating the definite and leaning support and giving Nick Clegg all the “won’t say” responses, indicates that members’ support at the moment is splitting in the region of 50% Chris Huhne, 30% Nick Clegg with just under 20% undecided.”

Chris Huhne’s Campaign manager, Anna Werrin, is quoted saying:

“These figures are fantastic and confirm what our own canvassing is showing – that the late votes really are coming Chris’s way. Of course many people will have voted early and Nick may have won the early votes. But no-one should assume there are any foregone conclusions; this is a leadership election which is going to go right down to the wire.”

* Definite support for Huhne in the first two batches of polling stood at 26.6% and 28.7%.