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How low can the Liberal Democrats go?

By Tim Montgomerie

12 YouGov has just tweeted its latest opinion poll and it's more very bad news for the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg's party is down to just 12%.

Unless voters can be convinced that the Liberal Democrats are a significant influence on the Coalition (a) left-leaning voters will continue to defect to Labour and (b) right-leaning voters may decide that they will need to support the Conservatives to stop the strengthened Labour party.

Clegg & Co will be pressurising Cameron & Co to do more and more and more to prove that LibDems are making a difference. Francis Maude's talk today that the government is more Thatcherite than Thatcher was hardly helpful in this regard (although accurate in portraying the reforming ambition* of the government).

YouGov found the Tories on 42% and Labour just 4% behind on 38%. It may paradoxically be helpful for the Coalition if the Tories start losing a little support. If both parties are sharing unpopularity the LibDems won't feel so hard done by.

42% of voters approve of the Coalition and 40% do not.

* Time will tell if the ambition will equal achievement (noted Peter Hoskin).

10.45am on Sunday: I'm indebted to Peter Hoskin of Coffee House for discovering this YouGov chart that captures the decline of the LibDem vote:



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