OK, when I talked about Labour getting wiped out in 2010
a couple years back, I was semi-joking and being deliberately provocative. Or maybe I was just being prescient. Email from YouGov:
Our latest daily polling figures for The Sun (fieldwork 15th-16th April) are:
* Conservative: 33%
* Liberal Democrat: 30%
* Labour: 28%
* Others: 9%
The Liberal Democrats have surged to 30% in the latest YouGov poll, which was conducted entirely after the leader's debate, pushing Labour down to third place.
I'll say that again:
pushing Labour down to third place
Even the Sun, who commissioned the poll, are being nice
the most dramatic shift in support for the Lib Dems was from the young, with a massive 44 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they would vote for Mr Clegg
(and there's more analysis on UK Polling Report
But, so people are saying (morons
) that the seat calculators say the LDs will still get crap because of the voting system. Well yes, that's true, the calculators do. Because the calculators are rough approximations based on uniform national swing effects.
Here's the thing. I live in a tight Labour/Tory marginal. On paper. When we decided on our campaign strategy, it was fairly easy. I went through the numbers, pointed out that Labour were dead in the water with a non-existent activist base, no local Govt presense and that we ought to be fighting to win. My PPC and agent were persuaded that this was at least a viable strategy; we're fighting the Tories for first place,
Labour have Lost it in Calder Valley
(that was my slogan, quite proud of it actually).
Yes, there are local issues, and the sheer uselessness of the eventual Labour candidate is helping, but it'd still be a good strategy even without their implosion.
Reality: persuade voters that Labour can't win and we can, we've won
So, according to the seat calculators, seats like mine fall Tory, or stay Labour. Reality is, as soon as we persuade local voters that Labour can't win and we can, we've won (happening already
). It helps, of course, that we've an incredibly strong candidate.
Uniform swing calculators cannot, and will not, take into account the effect of a strong local campaign, or even the third party squeeze effect in reverse. Once Labour voters in an area are convinced their candidate can't win, some of them will switch to us to stop the Tory candidate. I don't want to live under a Tory MP, they sure as hell don't. This sort of effect is exactly what happened in Canada
when their Tory Govt got eviscerated.
Extra added bonus? A bunch of notional Tory voters now are voting Tory just
to stop Labour. Persuade them they don't need to worry? Even more swing to us.
This could be the game changing election
It's probably the most critical election since 1983. Only this time, those that want real
change have learnt from the mistakes of last time, and will be pushing forward with a much stronger message.
Time to abandon those narrowly chosen target seat campaigns
guys. Secondary seats that on previous polls were unlikely to fall are in much more need of support if we're actually going to take advantage of this massive boost.
Seats like Calder Valley. Where we're fighting to win from 3rd place. And if the opinion polls keep showing Labour in 3rd place? We'll take it easily. With a bit of extra cash.
I'm guessing we need to go sort out an online donation system.