Lib Dem vote swings to Labour in Tory marginals

The Lib Dem vote is collapsing in Tory marginals with swings of up to 13% to Labour. Meanwhile, 70% believe the Government is the same as if Tories governed alone.

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s YouGov analysis that the coalition’s “honeymoon is over” and that Lib Dem support is in free fall, a new poll conducted by Populus for Lord Ashcroft shows swings of up 13 per cent from Lib Dem voters to Labour.

Lord Ashcroft’s analysis of his poll – showing that the Alternative Vote could favour the Conservative party – was highlighted yesterday on Iain Dale’s blog and Conservative Home. A closer reading of the numbers shows more worrying news for Nick Clegg’s party as Labour appears to be the greater beneficiary of Lib Dem deserters in both Labour-Tory marginals and Lib Dem-Tory marginals.

In the 25 most marginal Lib Dem held seats where the Conservative party are in second place, the swing from Lib Dem to Labour is 12.9 per cent. In the 25 most marginal Conservative held seats with Lib Dems in second place, the swing is 11.0 per cent. In both sets of seats more than 50 per cent of voters believe that:

“The Liberal Democrats have had some influence but the government’s agenda is mostly what we’d have had if the Conservatives were in government on their own”

An additional 20 per cent of voters believe that the Lib Dems have had virtually “no influence”. Ashcroft’s findings that these swings will result in the Lib Dems losing 30 seats to the Tories under first-past-the-post (and 19 under AV) would see the party’s parliamentary representation halved.

The swing from Lib Dem to Labour is less pronounced in Tory-Labour marginals averaging 3.6 per cent. But that would still be enough to help Labour gain 28 seats under first-past-the-post (and 16 under AV). The findings are consistent with Tim Horton’s analysis for Left Foot Forward in early May which showed that a “Lib-Con coalition would be an ‘electoral gift’ for Labour“.

UK Polling Report today details that the overnight YouGov poll puts the Lib Dems on 14 per cent nationally – a result that would deliver just 21 Lib Dem MPs, give the Tories a majority of 18, and effectively return Britain to two-party politics.

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