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Inching To Tory Victory?

  • May 5th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

uk-debate-rte.jpgPolling just ahead of Thursday’s British General Elections (6.5.10) shows a late, and limited move establishing the Conservatives as clearly the leading party – though maybe with not enough votes still  to win a victory.

A day-before poll, taken in the field in the period 30 April to 2 May, in 57 Labour-held marginal seats, showed the Conservative (Tory) party with 36%  support (up 1% on the last survey), Labour 36% (-2), and Liberal  Democrats 20% (-1).

Commentary from the pollsters, Ipsos MORI, for Reuters:

“The last of our polls in key marginal constituencies, Ipsos MORI’s new poll for Reuters suggests that the Conservatives are inching towards a majority with a 7% swing from 2005 in these key battleground constituencies. However, given that national polls are suggesting the Conservatives are more likely to lose seats to the Liberal Democrats than gain from them, this majority is not necessarily guaranteed.”

Another  poll, nation-wide,  from the same source registered intentions of voters considered  “absolutely certain to vote” , showing Conservatives with  37 %, Labour 32% and Liberal Democrats with 19%.

Large numbers of people picked up in polling said they remained undecided as to which way they would go on the day, a day and a half out.

Some conservative officials have contested the ideas of the Liberal-Democrats taking their seats, saying instead they’d identified a trend where a strong Liberal-Democrat vote would split off Labour support.

Labour spokespersons have claimed to see signs that the party vote would hold up in its areas of strength, in the North of England and in  Scotland, so that a swing to the other side would not obliterate all of the Labour government’s very large majority of seats.

They are also able to point to a clustering of voters, so that a big proportion of Labour electorates is held with strong majorities – more so than the other parties, and so encouraging talk of Labour yet emerging with the most seats, if no longer a governing majority.
The Liberal-Democrats after demonstrating popularity with voters in early opinion polls, are considered ready to make substantial gains, although hexed by arithmetric and the canniness of voters:-

Where their national vote often exceeds 20%, that conventionally translates into only 10% of Members of Parliament, and with voters knowing one of the two major parties is far more likely to win government, there’s a conventional “return to reality” on voting day, many “intending” Lib-Dems supporters in the polls, deciding they’d better leave them and go with a main-chance party at the actual ballot box.

See also, EUAustralia, “UK Debate ,,,”, 16.4.10.


Ipsos MORI, London, Reuters Marginal Constituencies Poll – Wave 3,  3.5.10 ., (5.5.10).


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