Oh, good grief

Via Nick, another Blairian fantasy:

The PM also this morning urged Labour supporters to turn out to vote on May 5, saying: “It only takes one in 10 of our voters to drift off to the Liberal Democrats and you end up with a Tory government.”

That is a figure hotly disputed by the Lib Dems, who said the swing voters would have to be concentrated entirely in Labour/Tory marginals – and even then the figure would be much closer to one in four.

What they don’t say is that it’s a figure hotly disputed by anyone with a brain. I’ve been following the polls, and the running average of all of the national polls I’ve seen is something like this:

Labour: 38%
Conservatives: 33%
Liberal Democrats: 20%
Others: 9%

Wave our magic wand of tactical-voting apathy – what is this about drifting off to the Liberal Democrats? “Sod it, I just can’t be bothered voting Labour this time – I’m going to take the easy way out and cast a protest vote for a party I’ve never voted for in my life. I’d better take something to read in case there’s a queue – pass us that Trotskyist Anarchist, could you?”

But anyway. Transfer 10% of the Labour vote to the Lib Dems and you get a split of 34.2%/33%/23.8%/9%. Plug that into the BBC’s very wonderful seat calculator and you get… a Labour majority of 62.

The polls could be wrong, of course. More to the point, all the polls except YouGov could be wrong. YouGov has consistently reported a much narrower gap between the levels of Labour and Tory support, more like:

Labour: 36%
Conservatives: 34%
Liberal Democrats: 21%
Others: 9%

Transfer 10%, and you get 32.4%/34%/24.6%/9%. And… a hung parliament, with Labour taking 318 seats out of 646; the Tories and the Liberal Democrats put together would only have 299.

The facts are what they’ve been all along:

The Conservatives have a mountain to climb (hey, pictures!).

They’re showing no sign of being able to climb it.

Liberal Democrat votes won’t enable them to do it.


Tony Blair is constitutionally unable to make any appeal to natural Labour voters which will actually get the vote out. From that same Guardian article:

the prime minister and chancellor joined forces to unveil a new slogan of “Forward with Blair & Brown”.

Good old Gordon – at least he’s an ex-pinko. We’ll be seeing a lot more of him this coming week.

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