Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Late Polls Suggest Close Finish

A veritable blizzard of polls tonight suggest the General Election is on track for a close finish. The Conservatives lead with around 35% of the vote but while that shouldn’t be enough for a majority, a poll of marginal seats suggests the Tories are doing well enough to take up to 100 Labour seats though it seems prospects of substantial Conservative advances in Lib Dem seats seem remote and the Lib Dems might even pick up the odd Conservative seat.

Labour are hovering in the 27-29% though the pollster Angus Reid has them at 24% which would be catastrophic.

The Liberal Democrats are around 26-28% suggesting a photo finish for second place but the possibility of Liberal Democrat gains from Labour.

Mike Smithson on has betting on a Conservative overall majority, presumably on the basis of the site’s pollster, Angus Reid and the Conservative herd on the site are joyously calling the result.

I’m much less convinced – IF the Conservatives are around 35-36%, that’s barely 3.5% up on 2005. If the Angus Reid poll is right and Labour are down to 25%, that will be enough for a majority but all other pollsters have Labour higher. The unknown factor is the Lib Dem vote – will it be diffused or will it come out in the seats where it matters ?

I’m hoping for a block of 100 Liberal Democrat MPs after this election which would be fantastic in a Parliament with 300 Conservatives and 200 Labour (roughly). David Cameron would be Prime Minister but his Government would be tenuous.

The other possibility is the Liberal Democrats finishing second in the popular vote ahead of Labour. Tonight’s polls show it as a real possibility. I think it will happen in England but if you include Scotland and Wales it’s more doubtful. IF the party can finish second in terms of the popular vote it would be a huge achievement and offer the very real possibility of substantial gains against the Conservatives in 2014-15.

Tomorrow will tell us everything – let’s hope for a good turnout and a good result.


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