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.

50 Responses to “Lib Dem vote swings to Labour in Tory marginals”

  1. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  2. Oxford Kevin

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  3. Liam McKee

    RT @houseoftwits: RT @leftfootfwd Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  4. Chris Williams

    RT @leftfootfwd: LibDem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC <was quick!

  5. AdamRamsay

    RT @chrisw100: RT @leftfootfwd: LibDem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC <was quick!

  6. Pete Phillips

    RT @leftfootfwd Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  7. Bionda Tucker

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  8. Watford Observer

    Perhaps I need to find some way to getting the attention of @MayorDorothy. How about this 🙂 //bit.ly/b9lfW2

  9. VoteGlobal

    RT @leftfootfwd Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC #UKpolitics

  10. Joanne Cash

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  11. Sunny H

    Will, I think there’s a danger in reading too much into Ashcroft’s analysis – there is no proper model to predict how voting intentions would change under AV. In fact even the Uniform Swing model has pretty much collapsed because it assumes just a two party system.

    These models always assume uniform swings. But furthermore they assume that voting intentions are not tactical *because* of FPTP.

  12. Adam Pogonowski

    In light of this #libdem voters and members ( //bit.ly/9JWWKC ), @thegreenparty, I'm sure will welcome you to our party. #cambridge

  13. Adam Pogonowski

    I certainly welcome all annoyed #libdem voters in #cambridge to join the #greenparty and help out in coming campaigns. //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  14. anyleftiwonder

    Clegg more Tory than Cameron !!

  15. Ell Aitch

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  16. Katie James

    RT @leftfootfwd Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  17. beltain

    Expected “@leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC”

  18. Nicole Green

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  19. MICHAEL SPARLING

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  20. John Hickey-Fry

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  21. Mark Walker

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote swings to Labour in Tory marginals //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  22. Sam Browse

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  23. Inside Croydon

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  24. Danny Carrington

    Lib Dem vote swings to Labour in Tory marginals //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  25. Duncan Stott

    Lets assume Labour’s attacks on the Lib Dems are causing this momentum. The outcome of Labour’s attack on the Lib Dems will deliver a Conservative majority government of 18. This is surely bad news for the Left.

    Rather than attack the Lib Dems, the Left needs to wake up and realise they have allies in government, and construct a working relationship that not only puts the brakes on the worst excesses of the Tories, but actively gets progressive policies in place.

    Either that, or we go back to long-term two party politics, with guaranteed spells of unhinged Conservative rule.

    Your choice.

  26. Colin Waude

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  27. Jimbo

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  28. herman pett

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  29. Billy Blofeld

    If Optimus-Clegg really wanted to – he could destroy Labour as a party of government by merging with The Tories.

    He just has to eject his left wing head bangers, whom Labour will mop up, which will further help the ConDem party boss the middle ground of British politics.

    Presumably Left Foot Forwards would welcome the permanent influence of Progressives in Government?

  30. Anon E Mouse

    Will – This is far too premature to draw your conclusions – it’s wishful thinking on your part I’m afraid. AV will destroy the Labour Party when the coalition does well.

    Lib Dems who claim they will vote Labour with it’s big business, hurt the poor, big state control freak agenda are not Lib Dems – they are simply protest voters.

    When the coalition does well with the economy (and every single sensible financial advisor says their approach is correct) and the soldiers are home before the election the feel good factor will swing into action.

    People like me who cannot believe how relaxed the whole of government has become – just seeing ministers walking to Downing Street compared to the last bunch with their chauffeur driven black cars and men with earpieces is a breath of fresh air.

    Next election Cameron will tell Conservatives to vote Lib Dem second pref and vice versa the Lib Dems. Labour will look like a big state party and not credible.

    Voters are fickle but anyone who actually believes that once the more unpleasant aspects of the last government are undone by the Lib Dems in Cleggs “Freedom Bill” won’t vote for the person who freed them is bonkers…

  31. Alan W

    Duncan Stott – I think you overestimate the potency of Labour’s attacks. The Lib-Dems loss of support is first and foremost down to their own actions.

    I’ll venture that most of the former Lib-Dems switching their support to Labour are doing so because they can see that Clegg and Co have sold their party cheap to the Tories. In return for a few second tier ministerial jobs and a referendum on an electoral system they don’t even want, they’ve swallowed the most unremittingly right-wing economic agenda of any British government since before the war. This is precisely one of those “spells of unhinged Conservative rule” of which you write, only this one is being delivered with Lib-Dem votes.

    If as you say “the Left” has allies in this government, they need to wake up and realise that no-one with even vaguely centre-left sympathies can in conscience support this government. And if they can’t persuade their party to walk away from it, then they need to bail out on their own.

  32. Jim Stanbury

    2 articles, poss glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. 1 surprisingly from Telegraph //bit.ly/9JWWKC & //tinyurl.com/2uwtx8d

  33. Dave Wilshire

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals – 70% believe Gov same as if Tories governed alone //bit.ly/9JWWKC

  34. Rachel Hardy

    Lib Dem vote collapses in Tory marginals | Left Foot Forward //goo.gl/bL8c

  35. Anon E Mouse

    Alan W – Lib Dem voters are not fools – they can affect change and people’s lives.

    As soon as their policies start coming in, for example ridding the country of Labour’s surveillance state, Lib dem voters will be back on board.

    I’d rather be Nick Clegg at his party conference than Gordon Brown at his….

  36. Duncan Stott

    Textbook Labour spin from Alan W. For balance, I’ll link to textbook Lib Dem counter-spin, that shows that the Lib Dems are a real influence in the coalition:
    //www.libdemvoice.org/what-the-lib-dems-have-achieved-in-the-coalition-government-20386.html

    But this isn’t the argument I’m trying to get into. Alan W’s suggestion that the Left abandons this government is counter-productive. He is suggesting either breaking the coalition, up breaking the Lib Dems. The first will trigger an election with a resultant Tory majority govt, the second will send us back to two party politics… that may be good for the Labour Party, but it is not good for the much broader Left.

    Like it or not, the coalition is what we have. The options for the Left over the next five years are constructively support the Lib Dems, or attack the Lib Dems and allow the right-wing of the coalition a free ride.

    I can appreciate this is a hard decision for the left-wing who remain loyal to Labour. It means abandoning party politics for five years. But I would question why you get involved with Labour in the first place: are Labour a means to an end, or an end itself? That’s a question I can’t answer for you.

  37. Chris

    @Anon

    LOL, that is some strong shit your smoking!!!

    Firstly, many tory voters are to the right of Cameron and loathe the EU. Even if tory high command says vote LibDem as second pref a lot of tories will want to vote UKIP to send a message. And won’t want to support the *pro-EU* LibDems.

    While nobody has any real clue what will happen under AV, the majority of LibDem voters identify as centre-left so just because the Cleggron commands doesn’t mean they’ll vote that way. I can’t stop laughing at your characterisation of social liberals as mere protest voters, I thought the LibDems weren’t tribal in nature? Do you believe that centre-left LibDems should betray their principles and support the party no matter how far Clegg takes them to the right.

    Yawn, so a quick photo op of Cameron walking down the street is enough to make you happy – you must have some real deeply held convictions… What about cabinet ministers taking trains? Bet you liked that idea and you’ll even defend their red box going in the chauffeur driven car.

  38. Chris

    @Duncan Scott

    Why would centre-left voters support the LibDems? Clegg & Co. aren’t left wing by any stretch of the imagination. There isn’t any great love for the tory party, their current increase in the polls isn’t anything to write home about and when the LibCon economic plan falters their ratings will plummet.

    The left should work to split the coalition within the next 18 months because if they don’t the LibCons will have destroyed many of the public services which centre-left voters care about most. If the coalition does last the distance the left will be fucked anyway because the LibCons will be a single party.

  39. Kevin

    The condemnation are so full of spin they meet each other coming back their ideas of government by proxy :- tell us what you want to do/change will soon be found out by the electorate when nothing they wish for is achieved unless cameroon and his henchmen said it first.
    the greatest number of Ideas for improvement I have seen on the so called government meets the people web sites are for the country to GET OUT OF EUROPE NOW.
    something neither party is willing to counternence as it goes against their own wishes there by killing the theory that they are a government for change.
    the only thing to have changed is the name on the door of number ten there is still a potential dictator behind it.

    I PREDICT A RIOT

  40. Duncan Stott

    Chris, your argument doesn’t make sense. You start by saying the Lib Dems aren’t left wing, but then suggest the left should aim to split the coalition. How can the left have any influence on the coalition unless it has a left wing faction? Logically, your argument only stack up if you are suggesting the Tories are left wing!

  41. Will Straw

    Thanks for the comments:

    I agree with Sunny. We shouldnt read too much into Ashcroft’s analysis of the AV effects (which is why I only mentioned it in passing) but the polling speaks for itself and is consistent with what we already knew: LD voters are deserting their party.

    I disagree and agree with Duncan. I don’t think Labour’s attacks on the Lib Dems have been particularly potent (which is hardly surprising since the party is effectively leaderless). Instead I put the declining LD vote down to their voters making their own minds up about the Coalition’s performance. Where I do agree is that the Labour party should work with the Coalition where it is acting in a progressive manner. This blog has long supported the Lib Dem positions on electoral reform, nuclear power, and defence. Unfortunately there is precious little to go on at the moment aside from the AV referendum. Huhne has rolled over on nuclear and the Coalition agreement rolled over on Trident. The list you sent through was just a list of aspirations – not implemented policy. With one or two exceptions I’ll be over the moon if you get through that list but as the graduate tax shenanigans shows this afternoon, in practice the Lib Dems don’t appear to have much clout. No wonder, as my article yesterday, only 40% of Lib Dem voters approve of the Coalition.

    I agree with Chris and disagree with Anon. The LDs have always been a coalition and while an electoral pact between Lib Dems and Tories at the next election is highly likely, their voters will not vote uniformly. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a split in the party as those MPs reliant on former Labour voters realise that they need a return to genuinely social democratic policies. As I suggested back in April, Nick Clegg is likely to become his party’s Ramsay Macdonald.

  42. malc peters

    More right wing clap trap from billy blofeld, if the Lib dems merged with the tories, it may make the Tories stronger, but proportionally it would make Labour too, and i think you will find that more than half of Lib dems could never stomach being part of a Tory party, remember the Lib dems were concieved from the old Liberals and people that were disillusioned with the Labour party,instead of forming a new party, they could have just joined the conservatives,why didnt they?Believe me this mix match of a coalition WILL NEVER BE ONE PARTY

  43. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – If the Liberals had voted against the smoking ban, which as Liberals they should have then I may still be smoking…

    Will – You disagree with me… man that hurts ;-{

  44. Mike

    local Lib Dems are really scared already

    mainly after the string of council by elections Labour have won

    we need to keep the pressure up in Council by elections

    it hurts the Lib Dems badly

    Every by election should be a mini general election

    we really need to get to grips with this

  45. Chris

    “Chris, your argument doesn’t make sense. You start by saying the Lib Dems aren’t left wing, but then suggest the left should aim to split the coalition. How can the left have any influence on the coalition unless it has a left wing faction? Logically, your argument only stack up if you are suggesting the Tories are left wing!”

    ROFL, the argument makes perfect sense but your selective interpretation of “Clegg & Co.” leads to your confusion, I mean the leadership of the LibDems. Currently, the left/progressive vote doesn’t have any influence on the coalition as all the LibDems with any power are orange bookers and the rest of the MPs are cowed by the party machine.

  46. Daniel Rivas

    Huh. //is.gd/dBS8o Will be interesting to see what change there is in @gregmulholland1's seat come an election.

  47. Look Left – The Week in Fast Forward | Left Foot Forward

    […] for the polls? Well, as Left Foot Forward reported on Tuesday and Wednesday, Lib Dem support is in free fall, with the Lib Dem vote swinging to Labour in Tory marginals […]

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