There is a new YouGov poll reported tonight for tomorrow’s Sunday People showing an unchanged 18% lead for the Conservatives:
Conservative 45% (no change)
Labour 27% (no change)
Lib Dem 17% (down 1%)
This confirms the previous YouGov poll and the Lib Dem change is within the margin of error.
Tonight it is reported that the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate in Chelsea and Fulham, Norsheen Bhatti has defected to the Conservatives. She states that the Lib Dems are “out of touch with everyday life and people in our country” and she has praised David Cameron for doing more than the Lib Dems to get black and ethnic minority people elected to Parliament.
Miss Bhatti previously worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and her defection is a major coup for the Conservatives.
Unfortunately she has yet to take down her Lib Dem website (UPDATE: now removed).
Rumours are beginning to circulate of some devastating poll news for Labour tonight.
Sky News are hinting at a very bad poll for Labour and I am hearing that there may in fact be two polls tonight.
More will be published as soon as I hear anything.
For those of you who are Conservative Party members you may be interested in the National Convention election results. These are the elections that determine the volunteer positions on the Party Board:
Chairman of the Convention
Jeremy Middleton – 364 (ELECTED)
Simon Mort – 164
Sir Graham Bright – 57
Vice President (and Board Member)
Fiona Hodgson – 450 (ELECTED)
Charles Barwell – 367 (ELECTED)
Paul Swaddle – 344 (ELECTED)
John Walsh – 287
I am delighted that Paul Swaddle (from Reading/Wokingham) was successfully elected at the first attempt.
In the budget this week Chancellor Alistair Darling forecast that the UK economy would shrink by 3.5% this year, before growth resumed next year. He has been widely derided for these forecasts and I have since heard him in interviews stating that 3.5% was in line with independent economic forecasters.
Thanks to “Mirthios” on Political Betting who highlighted the following independent forecasts for the economy this year:
-4.5% – Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd
-4.3% – HSBC Holdings plc
-4.2% – IHS Global Insight
-4.1% – Citigroup
-4.1% – Daiwa Securities
-4.1% – IMF
-4.0% – Capital Economics
-4.0% – Deutsche Bank
-3.9% – Investec
As you can see not one is even close to the Chancellor’s forecast and most of them are significantly worse.
I fear that the hole in the budget figures will become even more apparent as the year progresses.