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It's not entirely surprising that the Lib Deems would benefit from many of the government's current problems. The supporters Labour is having the most trouble with - as was the case at the general election - are from it's left (as could be seen when Patricia Hewitt was heckled by UNISON).Such people are far more likely to switch their allegiance, even just as a protest, to the Lib Dems.

Although MORI polls are generally more volative than any other pollster's, if correct these figures would show that David Cameron's strategy isn't only not working, but failing. Faced with a government apparently on the skids, his only consolation would be to have lost less support than the government.

Yes seems to be the answer.

Mori is more volatile, it has a worse record but in general terms the Labour Party are losing support massively and the Conservatives are going backwards in a range of polls.

We can turn it around, not sure Labour can as easily.

Agree. Yes. It's not believable. Mori is rubbish.

In general I feel the polls are doing us down. I suppose we will see at the locals.

Seems people are voting Green, going Green while our voters are scurrying to the BNP as the Lib Dems swepe up the rest.

I think come the morning of may 5th, people will reflect on this as the election people protested against the Blair/Cameron duopoly at the centre. And rightly so!

The Evening Standard had an article on this rise of independent candidates this week and now the Times has an article (link here)questioning why we need national political parties at all.

Perhaps this poll goes overboard, but it is consistent with others in showing the rapid fall in support for the big 3 parties.

This message is shining through; people no longer trust the big 3 parties to deliver.

Our big 3 parties are becoming ever isolated from the people, and no amount of rebranding as 'change' can hide the fact that the people are rejecting the dinosaur idea of just 3 national parties at a time when those big 3 seek to protect and isolate themselves from the people even further with a self-serving state funding plan.

It will backfire. The people are demanding choice.

Has there ever been a time in British history where both of the main parties are so unpopular with the public?

Does it give the figures for the Greens and BNP individually?

Although I agree with you wholeheartedly on state funding Chad I really don't think 13% of the electorate have woken up one morning and said "gosh, look at the prospect of greater state funding for political parties, I must vote for those nice LibDems". Particularly because they're no different on the state funding point.

I think the better analysis is that a fair proportion of Labour's "base vote" is going very soft and see the LibDems as a fluffy lefty alternative which is pretty harmless. By being completely silent nationally they avoid amplifying aspects of their policies which cause people to pause for thought about them and are managing to minimise any perception of them being two national parties in one because they don't even appear to be one.

As for the Tory drop I can only put it down to some exasperation of everyone "looking the same". Whether this is just a response to the pollsters as the main parties are being trashed in the media and they might actually "go blue" at the ballot box despite it all remains to be seen.

The fluctuations in Mori's polls have been too extreme recently for us to be able to draw anything meaningful from it.

There is some doubt about whether the figures the Sun quotes are before or after the likelihood to vote question is taken into account.
The Feb figures are post likelihood - so if the published ones are pre we might see a different picture once Mori publishes the details.

"come the morning of may 5th, people will reflect on this as the election people protested against the Blair/Cameron duopoly at the centre. And rightly so!"

And the principal beneficiaries of this loathing of the centre are ... the Liberal Democrats! Me thinks there is a slight flaw in your political analysis.

Having said that, are there figures for the BNP in this poll. For the second night in succession last night, they were being mentioned on the door step and Charles Clarke's latest gem must be a BNP wet dream.

As I type I am massaging my ribs as the pain of extensive laughter wears off. The cause of the laughing pains...this poll. This poll cannot be serious. A 5 pt rise for The Dim Libs and a 8pt fall for Labour with a 5 pt drop for the Tories??? No way. This is wildly optimistic for the Dim Libs.

If the two main parties are down 13 points and the Libs only up 5 where did the rest go?

Der Sun says:

"Labour and Tories are both on 30 per cent, according to a Sun survey.

Lib-Dems are up three per cent at 25 points.

And support for minor rivals like the BNP and the Greens has grown to 15 per cent, the Mori survey reveals."

Gareth, we'll have to wait until Mori puts it on their website but imagine there is a large proportion of others - thats where the other 8% went. Others in England does probably mean BNP in main.

But this is MORI remember so James has reason for his disbelief.

And support for minor rivals like the BNP and the Greens has grown to 15 per cent, the Mori survey reveals

I think the MORI survey just offers the option of "other". It's only YouGov that allows the "other" parties to be named by respondents.

Hi Edward,

I agree completely. I did note that this particular poll goes overboard, but confirms the trend seen elsewhere that people are deserting the big 3 (for a variety of reasons).

My point was not that this was the reason people are deserting the parties, but that at a time when people are deserting parties, the parties themselves are responding by seeking to distance themselves even further from the electorate, and thus exacerbating the core problem.

I think the MORI survey just offers the option of "other".

James, I think MORI ask a further question if you give the option of other.

All pretty academic because MORI polls are a waste of time . They've had the tories anywhere from 30-42% in the last few months. I think any increase in LD support is coming from the left of the Labour party.

It's only a week to go so I'd rather wait for real votes to be counted. If we don't gain 200+ seats then DC will need to rethink his strategy.

It does seem from the ICM poll though that Labour's vote is extremely soft and they have a lot more to be worried about than anyone.

I take your point, Chad, but am not sure this poll really offers it much support.

The loss of support from the left of Labour into the Lib Dems is perfectly acceptable news.
The long term effect will be to cripple the Lib Dems with a seriously left wing image. We must exploit this.
If we do exploit it well now, when the wheels finally fall off Tony Blair's wagon, the 'election winning' right of New Labour will feel comfortable under Cameron.
Job done.
There are even days when I can persuade myself that TB is quietly conspiring to help Cameron achieve his recovery.

Now is not the time to retreat from change. All battles have phase called winning the fire fight, and that is precisely what we must do.

In my canvassing for May 4th, I am losing some of the more intolerant and extreme elements who have been hiding amongst Tory ranks, and to be honest, I don't sob at their loss.

Just remember, its the Party that has been unelectable for so long, not the policies.

Richard makes a fair point. The more the left of Labour peels off to the Lib Dems the better our chances. The vote that left the Cons in 1997 to go to the Lib Dems are going to be uncomfortable voting for a stridently tax and spend left wing party. At the time our voters left us the Lib Dems were very clever at disgusing what they really stood for. That will not be so easy if Labour starts voting Lib Dim.

Also, as Lib Dem support increases, they are going to have to harden their policy on a number of issues instead of keeping it distinctly indistinct They can't just claim that "It's not about left or right...", that crap is going to have to be cut. Not really a lib dem strong point. Legalise drugs? Raise taxes? A federal europe? Their voters might start asking difficult questions, like what their policies are.

I think that much of the Lib Dem vote is a protest vote like the vote for "Others", Henry. The next poll might just as easily put them on 20%, with Others on something similar.

Polls go up and down and at this stage they tend to do it more often then happens closer to a general elction.
The only message I get from the polls is the party are well and truely back in the game and if we keep progressing the way we have since the election of David Cameron, when the next election is called we will have a very, very good chance of winning it.
My message to all those talking the party down for there own reasons I suspect is time will tell that you are wrong!

The bounce may be exaggerated, but there must be some truth to it.

This poll was conducted before the prisoner release scandal broke. Liberals have done nothing newsworthy in that time, so this is all about the NHS. Unfortunately, because we failed to challenge the accusations that we left the NHS underinvested, the public don’t trust us with it either. LibDems benefit from being totally untested.

As soon as the NHS moves out of the spotlight, LibDems will lose some of this advantage. Labour have been painfully wasteful on the NHS, but it appears that campaigning on this waste plays into LibDem hands.

We will be able to campaign on the NHS by the next general election, by which time we will have alternatives to offer. It was right, and an necessary sacrifice, not to rush policies for the local elections.

One of the most interesting polls for years.

This is more evidence for the thesis that any single party will struggle to win a third of the vote at the next general election.

I expect to hear the Lib Dems crowing about the fact that they're only 5% away from victory. Not looking forward to it.

At the moment, the polls don't concern me.

It's like rennovating a long established but run down hotel - some of the residents might currently be leaving due to the noise and disturbance while we can't expect new guests to book in before the rennovation has been completed.

Someone asked if there had ever been a situation where the two main parties had ever been so unpopular. Yes 1981/82 the SDP/Lib. Alliance was out polling both parties, what changed the situation, the Falklands War, it saved the Conservative Government. For instance Bruce Douglas Mann Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden, switched to the SDP and felt his constituents should have the chance to endorse his change of party, he called a byelection. Polls at the start of his campaign gave him a 20% lead. Come the invasion of the Falklands his Conservative opponent soon had a 20% lead, Angela Rumbold was elected with a massive majority.

Harold Macmillan was once asked what do governments find most difficult to control his answer, 'Events dear boy, events'.

Paradoxically the light now shines on David Cameron, he is now facing his 'Westlands moment', Like Neil Kinnock he must now do irreparable damage to the government, Kinnock failed, The Tories won the following general election and the one after that.


I'm only making this post because it's the only way this weird college network will allow me to see other posts since the last one I made.

And what's the issue that gives Cameron the chance to seize his Westland Moment? Crime, a traditional conservative issue.

I hope he seizes the day. It gives the Tories a chance to win over the sort of working class Labour voter that I fear has been deserting to the BNP. Charles Clarke's tough approach has, I suspect, been very important in keeping those voters on board. This is a genuine opportunity to demonstrate that Labour's tough talk on crime really is just smoke and mirrors. Once we get them, we could very well keep them, and 3-5% boost in the polls as a result. That's far more, of course, than we appear to have got from all the green talk.

We have no idea in this poll where the BNP/Green votes have been taken from - simplistic view is BNP from Tory, Green & LD from Labour but I'm not to sure thats true.

As BNP are standing in only 70 (I think) places and Greens only about a third or so then most people who say other will in fact vote (if they do) for Tory or Labour (with perhaps some Greens going to LDs).

As voters not asked a preference question (ie if there isn't an X candidate standing who would you vote for?) we have no idea if this poll actually would show a largish Tory lead, Labour & Tory level pegging but at a higher figure, all three parties level or even Labour leading without the BNP/Green or even UKIP choice.

There's much wishful thinking above. The Tory 2005 vote was down massively on 1997 when they lost. Michael Howard got much of it back - including me. But if the Boy Cameron goes on like this he will lose all Michael Howard 's gains and end up with a LibDem Mark 2 party.

It's hara-kiri time with Cameron.

>>>>Yes 1981/82 the SDP/Lib. Alliance was out polling both parties, what changed the situation, the Falklands War, it saved the Conservative Government.<<<<
The Conservative Party would have won anyway, the actual margin of victory in 1983 was far less than the actual support for the government at the time and not all of it was down to the Falklands effect.

Once Michael Foot became Labour leader then Labour were doomed to lose and Conservative victory was almost certain, if Dennis Healey had won the Leadership Election and the Falklands War hadn't happened it is just possible that Labour might have won the 1983 General Election.

In fact in 1983 there were big worries that the size of the Conservative majority would result in the Conservative Government becoming overbearing heightened by Francis Pym's saying that it would be bad if the Conservatives won virtually every seat - I'm sure that easily the Conservative Party had a couple of million people who if there was any prospect of anything but a Conservative Victory would have turned out and voted Conservative, the Alliance were rather too novel then and had the problem of having 2 leaders and the hippies in the Liberal Party who if anything were even more anti-nuclear and anti-military than Labour was - Labour was very lucky to get 209 seats, it was only tactical voting by Socialist leaning voters among Alliance supporters in areas where the Alliance didn't stand a chance that saved Labour from going down permanently.

As for the numbers in this poll, sceptical though I am over polls, if the BNP rise at the expense of Labour and Conservative is true added of course to scandals in relation to donors and lenders to parties then it is what you would expect in the short term, the Liberal Democrats are the least implicated in the public eye of the 3 main parties and also the best placed in the event of a Protest Vote to actually make quite a major gain in council seats, Labour and the Conservatives could easily have lower votes in the Local elections than they got in the 2004 Euro Elections - but Labour got 35% of the vote shortly before the 1983 General Election in the Local Elections compared to 27.5% in the General Election, and since Labour came to power disastrous Local Election and Euro Election results for Labour and successes for the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in such (except obviously for 2004 Euro elections which was bad for all 3 main parties) have not been followed up by major successes in the previous 2 General Elections.

>>>>As BNP are standing in only 70 (I think) places<<<<
They are standing in over 300 wards, the 70 figure related to predicted numbers of seats they would hold after the Local Elections if the suggested levels for their support were correct.

Your obviously missing my point christina! First the belief that the Tories might get a massive majority came after the Falklands. Prior to that the wets in the Tory cabinet, were conspiring against Mrs T, even to the point where they had sounded out Whitelaw, as a possible replacement. The Tories most certainly could have lost their majority, and even under Michael Foot(who up until the Falklands had a comfortable lead in the OP's)Labour would have probably done well enough to deprive the Tories of their majority. After a period of instability there would have been a call for a government of national unity, there would have been plenty of politicians in the three main parties who would have responded: I'm sure.

Unreliablity of MORI polls aside, I think this does highlight a trend. People are fed up with the Labour government, but this is not just turning them off the Labour Party but rather the major politicians in general. Cameron's 'heir to Blair' act can hardly be helping matters.

I think the rise of the lib dems in the poll is a sign of protest voting, as is the rise of the dreaded 'other' parties. My opinion is that the best way for the conservatives to combat this is to put some clear blue water between themselves and New Labour, to offer distinctive and radical policies rather than merely offering a newer and more cuddly management.

Though I remain a committed conservative supporter, the direction of DC's leadership has made me think 'what difference would a conservative government make anyway?' Part of me is tempted to vote UKIP at the local elections and hope enough people do likewise so that the CamCons reconsider their tactics.

Clear blue water means retreating into a comfortable laager - I can just hear Wellington at Waterloo saying to the Guards to move back so as to create clear space so it was easier to tell the armies apart.

Blair moved his party onto our turf by using the language stolen from Conservatives. Sometimes he stole more than the language - his education policies are at heart a return to ours for example. How often in the first & second term did Tories complain that he'd nicked our policies (or at least created a copy of them).

Gordon sudenly goes green when Cameron is in the Arctic.

We have conservative solutions to issues & challenges across the spectrum, I'd like to see more subjects dealt with but our policies shouldmn't be driven by what Labours are but what we believe are the right ones.

Blair moved his party onto our turf by using the language stolen from Conservatives.

Ted, this is highly misleading. There is plenty of clear water between Blair's strategic move and small c conservatism.

For example, state funding of political parties and the national id database are two areas that are big government and unconservative. Even Labour MP's like Diane Abbott are now openly objecting to state funding.

Clear water based in values not a superificial strategy, but instead of doing the conservative thing, Cameron has adopted the Blair conservative-socialist mish-mash.

So not only would opposition to state funding be a conservative thing to do, but it also happens to be popular too!

"Blair moved his party onto our turf by using the language stolen from Conservatives. Sometimes he stole more than the language - his education policies are at heart a return to ours for example. How often in the first & second term did Tories complain that he'd nicked our policies (or at least created a copy of them)."

Then you should be perfectly happy with the Labour government, Ted. It already has all the policies you want.

In January this year, there were 3 polls putting us on 39% (ICM, MORI, Yougov) and another one putting us on 40% (MORI).

It looks like there has been a genuine decline in our support over the last 3 months. David Cameron needs to rethink his strategy, especially if the local election results are mediocre.

Who gives a monkeys about absolute levels of support? The only figure that matters is the one relative to Labour.

We need 40% to win an overall majority, regardless of the support of any of the other parties.

At the moment we're falling short by 10%.

Can I pick up on this thing about "why have political parties" etc and Independent candidates. In North Wales we have a long history of "Independent" candidates as do some other parts of the UK. Some of these councillors I count as friends BUT let us be clear of something the public needs to understand. It is simply not possible to run a coherent activity with truly Independent councillors. Whenever Independents have sufficient numbers they start forming groups and operating like a party including using the "party whip". They have to because you couldn't get anything done otherwise. If tomorrow all parties strangely disappeared, they would automatically start forming parties again. This is sense and is what humans do to get organise themselves and get the best for their residents/taxpayers etc,


If Liam Fox had been elected Party Leader, I don't think that electors would be deserting the Conservatives as they are. He represents a change back to conviction politics from image politics, which electors are looking for.

Liam might be right on all issues (who is?), but Cameron is seen as a continuation of the Blair style media politcs that the public rightly have no faith in.

Conservative MP's who still would like to win their seats, might give a little thought to undoing the Cameron experiment, and getting back into the game with Liam Fox as Party leader.

The media and the luvvies will be sorry to lose a nice looking young man with a dodgy past, but we can if we want get back to the business of winning elections and governing the country. Anyone interested in this? Write to your MP. He knows what to do.

>>>>Who gives a monkeys about absolute levels of support? The only figure that matters is the one relative to Labour.<<<<
This would depend on how low Labour had fallen, after all at some point in the future Labour could be a small discredited organisation and if the Conservative Party then had double their support that might still not be very much, if the vote going to other parties is very fragmented then possibly one of the 2 main parties could even win an overall majority with less than 30% of those turning out to vote - a party could win 15% of the vote nationally and it be spread very evenly across the country and they might not end up with a single seat in parliament.

Of course it's theoretically possible for parties to win overall majorities with very low shares of the vote, but it's extremely unlikely.

Realistically speaking, Labour need at least 30% for an overall majority, while we need at least 40%, thanks to the unfair boundaries.

Throw these figures into electoral calculus and Labour is left short of a majority by 2 seats.....Labour will be forced to go into coalition

It would be tight, but Labour might not need a coalition if only 2 short. Don't forget there are 5 opposition MPs who don't vote (sinn fein) and 3 from the SDLP who would almost certainly back Labour, at least in a confidence vote.

As a prospective councillor , I am going round every day knocking on doors of very many disatisfied labour voters. The overwhelming view is Yes Labour are in turmoil on their last legs under TB - but what are the Conservative Policies? They say that it all very well DC going off to Scandinavia and talking about global warming etc but that does not affect them NOW. What will we Conservatives do about the NHS ,Schools and immigration? They have no idea of our views and we are not getting our ideas across. This is the problem

Speaking as a Lib Dem, do I find the MORI poll believable? Of course not. Show me three in a row that say this and I might start. Show me local election results consistent with it and I might start. But this on its own is funnier than Cannon and Ball re-runs.

Andy, I don't know why you find this poll laughable, since the previous poll from YouGov had the Lib Dems on 24%, only 1% less than this MORI poll.

I think we have now reached the point where voters are making protest by voting Liberal Democrat.

Those of us with longer memories will remember Neil Kinnock saying of Margaret Thatcher's Government, "If you just want to protest vote Liberal Democrat, but if you want to replace the Tory government, vote Labour."

David Cameron now needs to adapt this comment to remind voters that ONLY a Conservative vote can replace a Labour government.

>>>>Speaking as a Lib Dem, do I find the MORI poll believable? Of course not. Show me three in a row that say this and I might start. Show me local election results consistent with it and I might start. But this on its own is funnier than Cannon and Ball re-runs.<<<<
Opinion Polls are always somewhat iffy, they are probably the closest to the truth increasingly as you get towards the actual day of a General Election, the Liberal Democrats supposedly had over 30% support in Opinion Polls in the last parliament at some points, they got 30% of the vote in the Local Elections at one point, in fact they had in the last parliament the best Local Election results that they had had as the Liberal Democrats better than any such results that the Liberal Party had had probably since before the First World War - 30% of the vote in any major set of elections for the Liberal Party was something you have to go way back for and the Alliance never got such support and yet when it came to the European Elections the Liberal Democrats did very poorly and in the 2005 General Election their percentage vote was still lower than that the Alliance got in both 1983 and 1987 and in terms of those eligible to vote wasn't actually much higher than they got in 1992.

A lot depends on turnout of voters from all of the main parties seperately, a protest stay away by supporters of any one of them could hugely distort the results - the Liberal Democrats may well even get 40% of the vote in the Local Elections and yet still get hammered at the next General Election. I still think that there will be a sharp increase in turnout of Labour and Conservative supporters and that Labour will maintain something close to it's majority and the Conservative Party will probably make similar total gains in seats to last time but that the main losers will be the Liberal Democrats who will end up having to rely on tactical votes in seats they hold to hold onto their parliamentary strength.

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