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Opinion poll rumours

September 17th, 2008 (04:24 pm)

Time for a little politics. PoliticsHome and The Spectator's Coffee House have alerted me to this entry at the UK Polling Report blog. Conservatives on 52%! As for the poor LibDems, 12% suggests that Nick Clegg, so long promoted as leader by the commentariat, is continuing to make little impression.

All rumour, of course, promoted by a Conservative periodical's website, so take with as many pinches of salt as are to your taste, and then some more.


Posted by: malaheed (malaheed)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)

I do try and keep interested and aware of what is happening in politics. But if you showed me a picture of 2 people, one of which was Nick Clegg and one was a total stranger - I would be guessing which one was which.

Posted by: brewsternorth (brewsternorth)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)

Me too; admittedly I've not been following UK politics all that closely, but the only current Lib Dems I know by name are Lembit "free the Segways!" Opik (and that only because I knew him when he was a local councillor) and Evan Harris (local MP when I was at college).

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)

I've lost track of whether Lembit Opik is standing for party president this year or not; and he receives press coverage more for his tangled personal life than for anything else, sadly. Evan Harris still gets a lot of coverage, and appears well-respected on health issues. The LibDems seem rather out of touch with the public mood somehow; and I can't help feeling that, since the overthrow of Charles Kennedy, they've been taken over by spindoctoring to the same degree as the other two parties, and have lost their distinctiveness.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)

I think it's true that Clegg fails to make as great an impression as was hoped. He is struggling to be perceived as anything other than Cameron-lite, which is not a position a leader of the Liberal Democrats should seek.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)

I'm another person who would have trouble picking out Nick Clegg, although I haven't been following politics that closely over the last few months.

As I've mentioned before, my politics, although not corresponding to any party, are probably closer to the Lib Dems than anyone else, but I've got so fed up with the party's lack of direction (one minute they're classical liberals, the next they're social democrats), bandwagon-jumping and lack of control of maverick elements by the leadership that I can't imagine myself voting for them.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)

I am feeling similarly disfranchised by the Liberal Democrats at present.

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)

Nick who?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)

I think you have summed up a lot of people's thoughts and feelings succinctly.

Posted by: hack (overconvergent)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)

12% seems far too low. I don't think they have done that badly since the 1950s, so I would take it all with a pinch of salt :) It's hardly *good* news for Labour and the LDs but not (yet) a catastrophe ...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)

True; but politicians can get very jumpy around polls. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on anti-Brown gossip in the Labour Party.

Posted by: hack (overconvergent)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)

That's a good point. I would think that another week of ministers resigning/being fired would doom Brown, but maybe there won't be any more and the clouds will just blow away ...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 17th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)

I wonder when was the last time a UK political party scored above 50% in an opinion poll? I can't remember Labour managing it in the 1990s, but might be wrong. Otherwise we have to go back to 1981 and the era of Liberal/SDP Alliance success, before the Falklands War, when David Steel could credibly tell the Liberal Assembly attendees to go back to their constituencies and prepare for government.

Feeding the rumoured poll into the form at Electoral Calculus brings a result of Conservative 493, Labour 121, and Liberal Democrats 8. It's hardly groundshaking to reveal that I think that it's a safe prediction that this won't happen.

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: September 18th, 2008 08:12 am (UTC)

Please don't get me started on the inaccuracies of opinion polls ...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 18th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)

I gather that practices in the US are particularly prone to error.