However, their analysis then goes into overdrive, with Julian Glover wildly speculating that Labour's vote could plummet to 18%.
Today's poll shows Conservative support is holding firm, with 83% of supporters saying they do not expect to change their mind before polling day.I were him I'd keep taking the pills.
By contrast, only 69% of Lib Dems and 68% of Labour voters say they will stick with their current choice. Almost a third of people supporting Labour say they might end up backing another party instead.
If that happens, Labour's vote would fall to a minimum of 18%. Its maximum potential vote – all current supporters plus people who say they may decide to back it – is 33%. That is three points lower than the party achieved in 2005.
By contrast, the Tory minimum is 27%, and maximum 37% – a level which would probably give the party a small majority.
The Lib Dems vote is the most volatile: the party's minimum current support is 23% and its maximum 40% – which if achieved would give the party first place in votes if not seats.
Some people who say they support the Lib Dems also say they are far from certain to vote, and some did not vote at the last election. Figures for party support are weighted to reflect the likelihood of each party's supporters actually turning out on the day.
Maybe not as low as 18, but given their car crash campaign 23-25 is looking more and more likely.
I have spoken to folk in a former safe Labour seat- they hate the new deal as it is more like a raw deal!
The Tories are likely to make a massive inroad into Labour safe seats! Labour have failed and the folk want change - even on council estates. They may not vote at all or they may lend their vote to the Tories.
Labour are in dire straits - the people who live thier now, know Labour means more of the same.
That will cost them seats - It is a case of turning out tory voters in every seat, even if it looks safe Labour from the past. People want nothing to do with gordon brown. The tories need to highlight the fact that leding a vote will mean the end of Brown.
However, if the present ICM poll percentages were carried through to actual votes, Labour would be the largest party, with about 30 more seats than the Conservatives, according to the BBC's excellent seat calculator.
And you're still in favour of retaining First Past the Post?
I have a question for all the many Libdem folk who have been posting here of late. A serious question - purely from the point-of-view of political strategy.
If the Libdems are about to make a serious breakthrough and perhaps become the second biggest party by popular vote (and, most likely, third in seats) why would they want to switch to any form of PR?
Surely this is the last thing you would want because it would suggest that - forever - they would keep the writhing corpse of the Labour party on a politically-induced life support machine - even when support for the latter bottomed out at under 10% of the vote and was heavily concentrated in a few old industrial towns.
Perhaps the deal to be done with the Tories is to say "Recognise us as the official opposition and we'll drop any demands for PR." And over the course of two parliaments, the Labour party dies horribly.
To emphasize this point: if UK politics is essentially bilateral in cultural and historic terms and we see the LibDems nudge up to somewhere in the 40-50% range of votes, why would they want to hitch themselves with the long-term losers?
I suppose if your argument is based on (1) idealistic fairness and/or (2) our greater leanings towards European styles of government etc, then I would understand the theoretical argument for PR. However, can any of you see the possibility of some political calculation which basically says "Stuff them, we're winners now, let's destroy the Labour threat/alternative forever."
Very interested in any views on this - especially LibDem ones.
It is interesting how some Liberal Democrats stuggle with the concept that Conservatives might believe in a "First Past the Post" system on the moral grounds that it allows people to change governments.
It is that thing called a "free society" again, which the Liberal Democrats seem to neither know nor care about.
A totalitarianism does not have to be of the Right or Left it can be a Social Democratic.
If the Liberal Democrats changed the voting system so that they would always be permanantly in power there be no point in voting.
An election would has about as much meaning as elections used to have in the Soviet Union.
The Liberal Democrat Party is neither Liberal nor Democratic.
I wouldn't be surprised if the actual Labour vote is considerably lower than the polls suggest. I think we might see something like Con 35 LibDem 27 Labour 22 Others 16. The Tories will turn their vote out best and that will produce a variance against the polls.
RJF - Lib Dems believe in PR not because it will improve our share of the green benches in the Commons, but because we think democracy is a GOOD thing and should be allowed. So yes, it's idealistic fairness. I know how strange that must sound to both the red and blue sections of the Party of Naked Ambition, but it's true.
wild - a noble attempt, but surely the fact that we are headed for a hung parliament rather stymies your suggestion that FPTP 'allows people to change governments'. What you really mean to say is 'as long as the people do as they're told and vote in a binary way, FPTP allows one of two choices to stay in power forever'.
A genuinely free society would allow people to actually vote for the person they wanted to win, without tactical considerations, and for every vote to be significant and equal.
In an election the electorate seek to vote into power a government. The purpose of a government is to govern. In a "free society" you get on with your own lives, while governments limit themselves to important but narrow issues as sound money and defence of the realm et al.
The Conservative Party and the Labour Party are names for coalitions of the Right and the Left. The Right want to reduce the size of the State. The Left want to increase the size of the State.
A "binary" choice as you put it enables changes of governments to take place. Because of the possibility of losing power, governments (whether of the Right or the Left) have to pay attention to the electorate.
The Liberal Democrats do not want to change the voting system because it is more "democratic". If that was the case they would dream of doing away with the Liberal Democrat party altogether and have weekly or monthly electronic polls instead, with the electorate deciding each and every issue. No, Liberal DEmocrat politicians WANT political power.
Nor is it a matter of representing every shade of opinion, because the Liberal Democrats would put in place a voting system that would in effect keep them permanently in power.
In other words it is pfofoundly anti-democratic, motivated by nothing other than the desire for political power, and will in effect generate a Social Democrat one party State with any vote to change it completely pointless.
I'm a Scottish Nationalist voter and I don't share the same stance as the SNP on the issue of a hung parliament. I would rather see one party, either the Tory party or by a small miracle the Lib/Dems win an outright majority so we can clearly shovel out the stink that has been lingering in number 10 for 13 years then we can think about a fairer voting system for Westminster, although the Tory party do appose this.
In the event of a hung parliament we might well see an end to Gordon Brown but its the Jim Murphy's, Alexanders, Milibands, Balls, Darlings etc etc that I fear will linger on by being propped up by the Lib/Dems.
Cameron has to get his finger out and stop lambasting the poor if he really wants to win this election because at the moment he is tramping round England like some latter day Eton reject.
Tom King. Thanks for your reply. An obvious riposte is what would happen if the BNP with, say, 2-3% of a thinly spread national vote, held the balance of power? We've already seen how Brown relied on pork politics with subsidy-crazed Ulstermen a few years back to avoid a crucial motion in the Commons. But let's not get into that debate as we both know both sides of the argument and probably understand (if not accept) the other's point-of-view (and, yes, I do accept that the Ulster example happened under a FPTP system).
However, it's the other issue that really interests me: does a PR objective survive the LibDems support heading over 35% when it kills off its main alternative?
So your argument is that the solution to the problem of an occasional hung parliament in a FPTP system is to change the voting system so that we get permanent hung parliament? Surely that is not intended to persuade anybody? Not even yourself.
Is your desire (your idealistic passion) to knock down one of the central pillars of our free society - the freedom to change the government - based on any understanding of what you do?
If you believe that the Liberal Democrats want to change the voting system because of "idealistic fairness" rather than "naked ambition" you must take us for fools.
I am reminded of the phrase used by Marxist totalitarians in previous generations - "useful idiots".
I find nothing "idealistic" in your sanctimonious idiocy. You trash your freedoms and you neither know what you do nor care.
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