Pollwatch Day 23 #GE2010 – Lib Dems at 26-31% in today’s polls

by Stephen Tall on April 28, 2010

Three national opinion polls published tonight:

    YouGov in the Sun … CON 34%(+1), LAB 27%(-2), LIB DEM 31%(+3)
    Harris in Metro … CON 32%(-2), LAB 25%(-1), LIB DEM 30%(+1)
    ComRes for ITV/ITN … CON 36%(+3), LAB 29%(nc), LDEM 26%(-3)

The ComRes poll, though the last officially to be published, was the first I heard about (under embargo) – it’s fair to say, I had a slight sinking feeling in my stomach: was this the end of the Lib Dem surge? Well, it may be: but significantly two other polls show the party still at 30% or more. We should remember all the flucutations reported today are within the margin of error, so the ComRes poll may not actually represent any shift at all. It’s trends across severeal polls that matter, not individual ones (whether good or bad).

There’s no change in today’s UK Polling Report ‘poll of polls’:

    CON 34%, LAB 27%, LIB DEM 29%

Two other sgnificant polls of note …

ICM/Guardian poll of Lib Dem target seats

Reported in the Guardian here, this poll reports on the 42 seats in which the Lib Dems came second in 2005 and which it could take on a swing of 6% or less, and finds support for the parties at (compared with 2005):

    CON 35%(-1), LAB 18%(-5), LIB DEM 39%(+4)

The poll is interesting – though because its figures combine the 27 of the party’s top 42 targets which are Tory-held with a further 15 that are Labour-held it’s a little hard to piece together what it actually means. In reality, the party is not expecting large-scale gains from the Tories in this election; but could make impressive gains from Labour, including in many seats where the swing required is considerably more than the 6% cut-off for this survey. Anthony Wells notes that the poll:

… appears to show that the Lib Dem advance in marginals is wholly concentrated in Labour held ones: taken separately, responses in Con-v-LD seats shows no discernable [sic] swing to the Liberal Democrats, but a swing of about 8 points in Lab-v-LD seats. That would result in the Lib Dems taking about 28 or so seats from Labour, but few if any from the Conservatives. If this finding is at all accurate, it will be key to the result.

Metro readers back the Lib Dems

Metro.co.uk reports its poll of “fully employed 18 to 44-year-olds, who read Metro at least three times a week and live or work in a city”, and finds support for the three main parties as follows:

    CON 26%, LAB 22%, LIB DEM 40%

As Jonathan Calder’s Liberal England remarks:

This suggests we are winning popularity among just the sort of people who should be supporting us: young, educated, urban. Those with an historical turn of mind could see it as the re-emergence of Orpington Man. If we are to continue to make progress as a party, we are going to have to strengthen this appeal to the liberally minded.