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No reason for Lefties to rejoice in Lib Dem poll misery

The Independent leads this morning on just how far Clegg has sunk the Lib Dems in the polls. Wrongly, it turns out, as UK Polling Report points out — the Indy’s poll of polls has them at 11% which they (and Lib Con too) claim as the “lowest level since the party was formed in 1988,” but in fact they sank into single figures over the following year (with David Owen’s rump SDP picking up a few more points). They’re low enough though, for sure. The trouble is Labour hasn’t nearly enough support to be confident of winning unless the Lib Dems are doing much better against the Tories.

The only occasions Labour has won elections with as low a proportion of the votes was 2001 and 2005 when the Lib Dems were on 18% and 22% respectively, with the Tories on about 32% each time. Labour simply has to do better.  The Indy says we’d have a majority of 15 but we’d be well within the zone of coalition speculation. Partly, it’s about  turnout – Labour’s vote last year, as a proportion of the electorate was, at 19%, lower than any election since 1918, won or lost (though even the Coalition could only muster 38% between them). But we also need to be winniong over Tory voters, and so far we are not.

The answer is not triangulation, as some would have it, but persuading people that the Tories are wrong. The age of neo-liberalism is over. Let’s make the case.

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