Liberal Democrats

What Future For The Liberal Democrats?

By Lord Ashcroft

The Liberal Democrats have suffered a slump in the polls since their decision to enter a coalition government with the Conservatives. Some have argued that the Lib Dems are finished as an independent party capable of winning significant support at elections, but I suspected things might not be as straightforward as that. I have conducted research among those who voted Lib Dem in 2010, and those who thought about doing so but decided not to, to find some clues about the party’s future.

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Swing from Lib Dems threatens Clegg and Huhne

By Lord Ashcroft

Though the Liberal Democrats achieved 24% of the vote in Great Britain at the general election, no poll since late June has put Nick Clegg’s party above 18%. Some have put them at less than half of their 6 May vote share. In July I published research conducted in marginal constituencies showing that 30 of the Lib Dems’ 57 seats were vulnerable to the Conservatives. More recently I have looked into whether the apparent meltdown would have the same effect on senior Liberal Democrats in the coalition. The answer is that their prominence has not made them immune from the decline in support for their party.

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Could the Lib Dem marginal meltdown mean the Tories gain from A.V.?

By Lord Ashcroft

A referendum on the Alternative Vote is currently planned for 5 May 2011. The pollsters have turned their attention to the likely ramifications should the public decide to adopt such a system for general elections. There has been a widespread assumption that the Conservatives have nothing to gain from electoral reform, and the work that has been done so far – such as the YouGov poll for the Spectator earlier this month – has indeed suggested that the Tories would be the biggest net losers when comparing A.V. with First Past The Post (FPTP). As ever, though, national polls can only tell us so much – it would be in the marginal seats that A.V. would make a decisive difference.  Would voters in these seats behave differently under the two systems? And would the effect be different depending which parties were in contention?

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