Tuesday, 17 April 2012

"Huhne Doomed": The Sun

Hedge End voters are set to give the Lib Dems the boot according to a YouGov poll for The Sun newspaper.  In a massive blow as the local election campaign moves towards its climax, support for the Lib Dems has slumped in their heartlands and target areas.

Polling in the 76 proposed new constituencies either held by the Lib Dems or winnable by them shows support for the party has fallen from 41% at the 2010 election to 24% now.

Even in the South of England, excluding London, which would include the Eastleigh constituency, support for the Lib Dems is down to 25%, with the Conservatives (34%) and Labour (26%) both profiting from the crash in Lib Dem support.   UKIP are on 8% and The Greens on 6%.

If these results are repeated in 2015, the only Lib Dem cabinet minister to survive would be Ed Davey, who replaced Hedge End's MP Chris Huhne as energy secretary.  Only seven Lib Dem MPs would be returned.  Chris Huhne, Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, Vince Cable, Charles Kennedy, Menzies Campbell, they would all pay the price for misleading their voters on tuition fees, welfare cuts and NHS privatisation.

Paul Redding, the Conservative candidate trying to unseat sitting councillor and chair of Hedge End Town Council, Jane Welsh, in St John's ward will take some comfort from this poll, but last year's borough elections, and the recent by-election in Shamblehurst ward, show that local Lib Dems have a dogged resistance to national trends.

Other Borough seats, notably in Chandler's Ford, are more likely to fall to the Tories, and Labour's targets in Eastleigh and Bishopstoke will be looking more winnable in the light of this poll.

YouGov Commentary
YouGov Data

(Dead bird graphic from www.betternation.org)


  1. Jenny Schwausch17 April 2012 at 20:58

    Love Peter Kellner's analogy to Lib Dems as politic's TITAN ARUM. To paraphrase: 'The plant at Kew that lies dormant for 30-40 years, flowers briefly and gives off a huge stink. The stench goes when it returns to its normal, flowerless state for several decades'.

    Beware Lid Debs - the scent of toilet water is rather strong these days!

  2. I struggle to take that poll seriously Keith.

    The Sun reports that the poll surveyed 1,524 voters in the 76 key seats being created when boundary changes come into effect.

    By my reckoning, that's an average of 20 voters surveyed per seat.

    It cannot possibly be a representative sample...

    1. YouGov do know what they're doing when it comes to sample size and interpreting data etc.for their market research to be statistically valid and will, I'm sure, have validated their questionnaire before conducting the research. Of course, the results are only a snapshot in time which is why these polls are carried out so frequently to look at trends which are probably more interesting and give a truer picture of what is actually going on.

  3. Peter Stewart UKIP20 April 2012 at 18:25

    YouGov would NEVER have done a survey of 20 voters per ward as such a survey would be statistically meaningless and bring them into disrepute.

    The wording in the Sun article is ambiguous and misleading. It means they surveyed 1,524 voters PER ward. That would be taken seriously as a GENERAL picture.

    However Eastleigh is a special case from the GENERAL picture. Being a LibDem stronghold, it would take a political earthquake IN EASTLEIGH to change matters significantly (here).

    That such variations exist between the NATIONAL and the LOCAL pictures, is proven by the substantial difference between the Sun's NATIONAL poll which puts UKIP ahead of the LibDems, compared to the LOCAL poll (for the South of England) which puts the LibDems on 25% and UKIP on 8%.

    Wishful thinking will NOT oust the LibDems. Only hard political action (or that earthquake I mentioned) could do that. And so far, nobody else has the time, the funds or the inclination to do it.