web analytics

Lib Dems surge ahead in Britain

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, April 18th, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags:

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?

30 comments on “Lib Dems surge ahead in Britain ”

  1. outofbed 1

    With such a potential unfair result of the Lib dems in terms of seats vs %
    This will be great for the keep MMP campaign here
    A shining example of all that is wrong with FPP

  2. Anne 2

    A shining example indeed outofbed. In the event of a near three way split, I assume two of the parties will have to form a coalition government in the interim anyway. Which party are the LDEM likely to go with?

    • I dreamed a dream 2.1

      A few elections ago, the Lib Dems were going to get into coalition with Labour, except that Labour won so overwhelmingly that a coalition was irrelevant. So, now I would say the Lib Dems should go with Labour. Historically, they’re closer to Labour and are centre-left.

    • Joel Walsham 2.2

      Nick Clegg has said that he will give his support to the party with the biggest mandate his support. But even still he has not clarified if this is based on popular vote or on seat in the House. Because again it could easily be Labour get less votes and more seats, because of FPP.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    The contrast with MMP is extraordinary.

    Even in their worst election result, the Lib Dems got nearly 17%. If a minor party in NZ got 17% they’d be delirious – none of them get close to that. But the Lib Dems have never had even a sniff of power. They might not get it this time, even with a quarter of the vote. That’s the FPP lottery.

    They are a very impressive electoral machine, though. They target their seats very effectively, over years/decades, and it pays off. On a (very rough) pro rata, the Lib Dems would hold six or seven NZ electorates – that’s not seats (i.e party vote), but individual electorates. Imagine a “third force” in NZ doing that, in general electorates (NZ First in 1996 and the Maori Party today have held Maori seats, but that’s a bit different).

    I hope they can break through this time, but I wouldn’t bet on the UK adopting PR. Too many vested interests in Labour and the Tories.

  4. Zaphod Beeblebrox 4

    Looks like the Conservative vote is collapsing in favour of the Lib Dems. Last I saw the Tories were sitting at 40% (about a month ago). How does a party lose 10% of their vote that quickly?

    • zonk 4.1

      It was a protest vote?

    • Captain Rehab 4.2

      They run an oppositional campaign against the incumbent party while offering nothing better than a protest vote and then forget about the big third party.

      • gobsmacked 4.2.1

        How did the Tories lose so much support, so fast?

        Well, David Cameron was young and fresh and offered change without awkward specifics.

        Which was enough, until somebody stood next to him on TV, looking young and fresh and offering change without awkward specifics.

        Live by the shallow, die by the shallow. Serves the Tories right.

        • Marty G

          It’s like United Future in 2002. A lot of former Nat voters were deserting National but worried about giving too much power to Labour – up pops Peter Dunne. Smae dynamic with ex-Labour voters not really wnating to vote Tory.

          • blacksand

            and NZ First in ’96 – ex Labour voters not quite trusting them yet and thinking that Winnie ‘no deal with Bolger, Birch or Shipley (I think…)’ Peters would see them right. From memory 2/3 of NZF voters expected him to go with Labour post-election.

            ’99 and ’02 results was the upside of this though, IMO

  5. coolas 5

    Great to see LibDems on the rise.

    Was living in the UK when the Liberals (Whigs) merged with the Social Democrats. Paddy Ashdown. Roy Jenkins and David Steele were the big players. Can’t remember who came from what party.

    Shame there’s not a Liberal Democrat third party capable of 30%+ in NZ.

    • I dreamed a dream 5.1

      I reckon the high polling by National in NZ is due to many voters moving away from Labour and taking temporary shelter under National, and they may stay there for a few years. It’s a real shame that NZ does not have a Lib Dem type party to take in those Labour deserters. Maybe NZFirst is the closest at the moment and Winston should capitalise on that. Maybe he is already trying to capitalise on that.

  6. Salsy 6

    It really goes to show how the public vote. They dont really vote on the issues anymore, but a Live TV debate a few weeks before the election seals the deal… Strong speakers with resonant messages really make headways… Personally Im highly concerned now for Labour and still we see no change – http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/national-continues-ride-high-in-polls-3470929

    • I dreamed a dream 6.1

      @Salsy, don’t despair yet. The good news is that Labour’s support has now steadied and is still on the up. Colmar had National at 57% vs Labour 28% at one stage. Now National 54% Labour 33% is respectable. I don’t see Labour’s vote collapsing anytime soon or later, but National’s support is there to lose. It’s still a long time to 2011 election.

  7. The lift for the Lib Dems is very good news for Labour. They stand to gain most under the effective gerrymander FPP provides, almost to the point of being able to govern alone.

    Sweet Poll of Polls tool from the Grauniad here:


  8. Salsy 8

    Oh my God! Dont mention the one-news colmar brunton poll over at Red Alert. I never write offensive pieces and have just had two posts deleted and been warned Im about to be Banned by Trevor Mallard for even mentioning it. What is going on?

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      You were way off-topic (as you are here). You can write about whatever you want, on your own blog. Simple.

    • I dreamed a dream 8.2

      @salsy, you were off-topic at Red Alert.

    • lprent 8.3

      salsy: I just banned The Baron for demanding that we write about some poll (that appears to be similar to the previous in the series). I also bumped several other comments on the same topic to OpenMike. Dropping unrelated material into the middle of a discussion that doesn’t grow out of the discussion is generally frowned on.

      I’d suggest that you read the last section of the about, and the policy. At least he was doing it in the right thread – OpenMike. If you want to discuss it, then there is the appropriate place.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Here’s the BBC swingometer, if anyone wants to play – it shows you how hard it will be for the Tories to win.


    Click on the Con-Lib Dem swing, and try to give the Tories a majority. And that’s even before the latest post-debate poll boost for Clegg.

  10. Marty G 10

    “if Nick Clegg wins a majority”

    you mean plurality 😉

  11. lprent 11

    If anyone is looking for the thread started by NickC on the Colmar-Brunton poll. It has been moved to the correct thread – OpenMike. I don’t take kindly to people trying to inject different topics into a discussion thread. That is what OpenMike is for.

  12. Rich 12

    The Tories and Labour have a gerrymander that’s enabled a roughly 60% centre left vote to deliver a right-wing government for the last thirty years. I think they’ll try anything to keep that, even a Lab-Con alliance (that could be simply the Tories not voting against Labour on confidence and supply for a few months until they can hold a fresh election).

    Even if the Lib Dems get in, I think they have all the signs of fluffing it badly – settling for a referendum on AV some time in the future and letting Labour or Tory dump it after a further election (even if they get AV, it doesn’t make the UK electoral system democratic).

    If the UK did get fair votes, it might not be the promised land for the Lib Dems. Look at the Alliance here – 18% under FPP, then other parties sprung up and they went to 10% and broke up. I think that would happen in the UK. (The Lib Dems are a pretty uneasy coalition – what they believe in very much depends on where in the country they’re from).

    • I dreamed a dream 12.1

      @Rich – “The Tories and Labour have a gerrymander that’s enabled a roughly 60% centre left vote to deliver a right-wing government for the last thirty years.”

      I’m interested to know why you consider the Labour government in the UK is right-wing. I would have thought the UK Labour government is left wing.

      • Rich 12.1.1

        If you consider that colonial invasions of foreign countries, arbitrary criminal punishment for invented offences and an immigration policy based on blatant racism is “left-wing”, then Labour is that.

        Much in the same way that Michael Lhaws or Winston Peters are left-wing politicians, I suppose (although UK Labour are an awful lot keener on big business than NZ First).

      • Bill 12.1.2

        “I would have thought the UK Labour government is left wing.”


        If it was, then Plaid Cymru and the SNP wouldn’t get the support they do in Wales and Scotland respectively.

        The gerrymandering it seems extends to TV election debates where neither Plaid Cymru nor the SNP get to participate meaning that Welsh and Scottish viewers are potentially misled on domestic matters such as health and education which are the responsibility of their devolved governments….not Westminster. In the case of Scotland, the SNP is the party of government, yet it was denied a place on the debate.

        So the TV debate frames the questions…sets a UK/ English narrative…. and Welsh and Scottish voters get to decide who they vote for, at least in part, on that false premise.

  13. Daniel 13

    Nice quote from Lord Mandelson on the BBC: Lord Mandelson warned a hung parliament might give “disproportionate power” to the Lib Dems.

    From the latest YouGov poll they are in first place with 33%, but according to the BBC seat calculator the would only get 20% of the seats. I suspect that sort of disproportionality wasn’t what Mandelson was referring to.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago