There is a new ICM poll in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph which shows the Conservative lead doubling from 4% to 8%:
Conservative 38% (up 1%)
Labour 30% (down 3%)
Lib Dem 21% (no change)
I suggested that last weekend’s ICM 4% lead was likely to be a rogue. This poll and those from other organisations this week confirms that suspicion.
As I have noted before, the Lib Dems like to portray themselves as “nice” in contrast with what they describe as the other parties’ nastiness. However, many of us have known the true nature of many Lib Dem activists for a long time. Nationally Vince Cable has cultivated an image of an economic sage and Nick Clegg likes to condemn the two main party leaders for their adversarial style of politics. Yesterday the mask slipped from Vince Cable when he described the dozens of top business people who have backed the Conservative National Insurance proposals, as “nauseating”. Of course if they had backed any Lib Dem economic announcement no doubt Vince would have praised them and pointed out his own business background in Shell. But they didn’t praise Vince’s judgement or economic plans, so he describes them as “utterly nauseating” and echoes Gordon Brown’s accusation that the business people have been “duped”.
Today Vince’s “me too” leader, Nick Clegg, came out with his considered response to Conservative plans to recognise marriage in the tax system by describing them as “patronising drivel”. It is nice to know that such astute minds are at the helm of the Lib Dems and that they can frame such thoughtful and incisive assessments of another party’s plans. Once again this has highlighted that the Lib Dem instincts are closer to Labour than they are to a lower tax, smaller government, Conservative party.
The truth is of course that the Lib Dems are often the first to resort to personal attack and smears in their election campaigns. It is notable that here in Reading, the most negative leaflets are being distributed by the Lib Dems. They still seem to think that negative campaigning and smears against their opponents will win them votes. They screamed outrage and threatened legal action when Labour made a pretty mild (and largely accurate) attack on one of their Councillors who had failed to make an agreed meeting to discuss a report on Childrens’ Services, however, they regularly like to misrepresent others in their own literature and on the internet.
I very much expect that the voters of the UK and here in Reading will see through Lib Dem hypocrisy and will reward them with the same poor results that they received in the Euro elections last year. A hung Parliament, with the Lib Dems holding the balance of power is a prospect that should make all decent people wince. A minority Labour administration backed by the Lib Dems would be a nightmare scenario for the UK.
There is a new poll from Communicate Research reported tonight for tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday / Sunday Mirror which shows the Conservative lead holding at 7% and a big fall in the Lib Dem rating:
Conservative 39% (up 2%)
Labour 32% (up 2%)
Lib Dem 16% (down 4%)
Others include Green 3%, UKIP 2%, BNP 1%.
When asked to choose from a range of four possible election outcomes, however, voters are split down the middle between a Conservative government, including a minority government supported by the Liberal Democrats (49%), and a Labour government, including one supported by the Lib Dems (51%).
Which one of these possible outcomes would you personally prefer to see from the forthcoming general election?
Conservative government with an overall majority 29%
Conservative government with the support of the Liberal Democrats in a hung parliament 20%
Labour government with the support of the Liberal Democrats in a hung parliament 26%
Labour government with an overall majority 25%
George Osborne is third choice as Chancellor behind Alistair Darling and Vince Cable.
Which of these do you think would make the best Chancellor of the Exchequer?
Alistair Darling 23%
George Osborne 19%
Vince Cable 21%
Don’t know/none 37%
In other questions, David Cameron has made no progress in the past year in persuading voters that his party is “ready for government”, while the Conservative cut in National Insurance may have helped reinforce the view that Labour is the party of higher taxes.
Neither Labour nor the Conservatives are being honest about how they would reduce public borrowing
The Conservative Party is not yet ready for government
Agree 44% (45% in June 2009)
Disagree 44% (46% in June 2009)
A Labour government would be more likely than a Conservative Government to increase taxes
I think MPs’ ethical standards will be higher in the new parliament as a result of the reporting of expenses claims over the past year.
ComRes telephoned 1,001 GB adults 9-10 March 2010.