Nick Clegg and Lib Dems clean up in Newsnight’s Luntz focus group

by Stephen Tall on September 19, 2008

Those who watched BBC2’s Newsnight last night will have been treated to the sight of something pretty remarkable: party leader Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems being shown to be the overwhelming favourites – well ahead of either Labour or the Tories – among a selection of voters assembled by US pollster Frank Luntz. You can watch the 13-minute segment in full here.

Now, before we get too carried away, I should note that many Lib Dems, myself included, have expressed a fair degree of scepticism about Mr Luntz’s work for Newsnight in the past; so I’m not about to turn around and laud him simply because now he’s said something nice about the Lib Dems.

But, still, it would be a shame not to mention it 😉

For once, I can’t put it better than the Spectator’s right-wing Coffee House blog:

I imagine that the Lib Dems will be crowing for weeks about its finding that people warmed far more to Clegg than the other two party leaders. … Of more immediate relevance, however, was the further evidence that the focus group provided about what a risk the Tories are running with their tax policy. When Cameron talked about how the Tories can’t promise tax cuts the panel dialled him down, when Clegg talked about tax cuts they almost unanimously dialled him up.

If the Lib Dems can get their new tax cutting message across, they could eat into Tory support.