Just checked out the latest polling numbers over in the UK. It seems Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s performance in the first leaders debate is paying off. Clegg’s party has surged ahead at the expense of the Conservatives, taking the lead in several polls. (Latest BPIX poll, LDEM 32%, CON 31%, LAB 29%).
This could have huge implications for British politics. The UK polling report states:
There is a BPIX poll in tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday which has topline figures of CON 31%(-7), LAB 28%(-3), LDEM 32%(+12). That’s the biggest drop for Conservatives so far, and the biggest surge for the Lib Dems and it puts the Liberal Democrats up in first place. The Lib Dems were in equal first place in a poll back in 2003, but I think you need to go back to around 1982 to find polls with them (or their predecessor parties) consistently in first place (Update Tom in the comments has flagged up one poll from 1985 that had the Alliance ahead)
As with ComRes today and YouGov yesterday, all three parties are within 4 or 5 points of each other, so realistically if the polls remain like this it shouldn’t be a surprise to see polls with any of the three parties in the lead.
Even on current numbers the Lib Dems would still only have approximately a third of the seats of Labour and Conservatives. That’s thanks to the unjust FPP system – let’s hope we here in NZ avoid heading down that path again.
With a majority vote in the Lib Dems favour however, there would be a huge mandate for proportional representation. And that can only be a good thing for Britain.
But what about the Prime Ministership? Even with far fewer seats, if Nick Clegg wins a majority of votes, there’s surely a mandate for him to take Downing Street as well?