David Blackburn

Coy Cleggites?

Coy Cleggites?
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In a must read post, Anthony Wells notes that there is a new variant of the Shy Tory and Bashful Blairite: the Coy Cleggite. Traditionally, ICM and Populus have allocated up to 50 percent of undecided respondents to the party they voted for at the last election. Wells writes:

‘Polls are now showing a large proportion of people who voted Lib Dem in 2010 saying they don’t know how they would vote in an election tomorrow, and ICM’s reallocation of don’t knows is now favouring them. In ICM’s last three polls the re-allocation of don’t knows has bumped up the level of Liberal Democrat support by 2 points – yesterday’s topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 38%, LDEM 14% were CON 37%, LAB 40%, LDEM 12% without the don’t knows.

Naturally this leads us to the question of whether this is a sound thing to do. Certainly there is solid evidence to back up what ICM and Populus do. Re-contact polls after past elections always supported it, and ICM’s re-contact survey this time round found that about 50% of people who said don’t know in the pre-election polls did indeed end up voting for the same party they did in 2005. Equally, at past elections the adjustment has tended to make ICM’s figures more accurate. None of this guarantees it will still work in the future – the current political situation is rather unusual and these former Lib Dems may behave differently – but it’s a sound starting point.’

As ICM’s adjusted figures prove: Labour will benefit if current undecided Lib Dems don’t vote. But, as Nick Cohen points out, Clegg is the problem for many. Is it a case of Coy Cleggites or disgruntled social democrats?