No, really read on. We mean real annihilation. Although the YouGov poll on the 76 key Lib Dems seats was reported yesterday by the Sun and UK Polling Report, it was overshadowed by another YoGov poll which showed UKIP overtaking the Lib Dems at a national level, and even in its reporting, only the headline figures for all 76 seats were reported, ignoring the crucial distinction between Tory-Lib Dem contests and Labour-Lib-Dem contests, which were as follows:
|76 Key Lib-Dem seats||2010 General election||April ’12 YouGov Normal Question||April ’12 YouGov Prompted Question||Change (%) Prompted v General Election|
The first column shows the results at the General election for these seats (projected results in fact since these are the Lib-Dems’ best prospect constituencies on the proposed new boundaries). The “normal question” shows results as in any other poll, whilst the second prompts them to think about tactical voting in the circumstances of their own constituency, which naturally boosts the Lib Dem figures. Even these figures show that they will lose most of their current seats. The drop of 17% is greater than that in national polls, which Anthony Wells at UK Polling report explains like this:
This is not necessarily as strange as it might seem, it could just be a sign of a floor effect. At the last election there were 132 seats where the Lib Dems got less than 15% of the vote, by definition they cannot lose 15 percentage points in those seats, so to be down 15 points on average they must be losing more in some of their stronger seats. We saw a similar pattern in the Scottish Parliament elections in 2011 – the Lib Dems had a bigger than average drop in their support in all but one of the seats they held due to a floor effect of seats where they started off low.
However, the disaggregated results for seats with common characteristics are even more interesting. They show that not only are Labour likely to win back Lib Dem seats in “natural” Labour areas which have recently been contests between Labour and the Lib Dems, but, in many individual seats which they currently hold against the Conservatives, Labour, neck-and-neck in this group with the Lib Dems, is likely to push the Lib Dems into 3rd place:
76 Key Lib-Dem seats Prompted Question
|All 76 seats||Con v Lib-Dem||Lab v Lib-Dem||Lost Lib-Dem voters|