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Finkelstein: LDs should be happy just to be in power

By Julian Harris
August 4th, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Comments Off on Finkelstein: LDs should be happy just to be in power | Posted in coalition, UK Politics

The headline (above) is, admittedly, slightly paraphrased–but this is essentially Danny Finkelstein’s message in The Times today:

The LDs may be dropping in the polls, but they’re IN POWER and should be happy with that.

For those who don’t have access beyond the pay-wall, the Fink argues that the whole point of being high in the polls is to get into government. Thus it’s better to be in government and on 14% in the polls, than out of government and on 20% in the polls. Popularity is simply a means to an end, so if you have achieved the end, this is what matters.

He also claims that a drop in popularity is inevitable when in government, especially for the “junior partner” of a Coalition.

With the rise in LD fortunes in recent times, the Party, he argues, had to make a choice–to remain a Left-ist protest vote (with the option of siding with Labour) or to position itself in the Centre, allowing the option of holding power with either “main” party.

I slightly disagree on the Left-Right model: it’s up to the LDs, surely, to promote the liberal elements of the “Left”–greater civil liberties, a fairer voting system, constitutional reform, tax reform, penal reform, liberal policies on migration (well said, Vince!), less reactionary views on the EU and so on. This is our raison d’etre.

Finkelstein does, in fairness, understand this. He proposes that liberalism can be seen as Centre ground, and that this can appeal to the electorate:

“There is an audience — and an agenda — for a centre party that offers voters a chance to liberalise the others” he says.

The issue of what happens in subsequent elections is extremely pertinent. The LDs should not simply be grateful for 4/5 years in power, and then crawl back to irrelevance. The Cons can’t have their gluten-free soya cake and eat it. Our presence in the Coalition changes everything, and the question of what we do at future elections won’t go away.

On this question, and the dilemma of the polls, I am (for once) on the fence. Affecting government policy is great–but the question is how to make this a more permanent affair. Thoughts below, if you will.

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Confirmed. The yellows really are the best way of stopping the reds.

By Angela Harbutt
April 17th, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Comments Off on Confirmed. The yellows really are the best way of stopping the reds. | Posted in Uncategorized

Pinching myself hard, I find myself writing that, according to,  the Liberals top the opinion polls in the latest results to be published (BPIX/YouGov survey for the Mail on Sunday). Ok we may want to take one poll (and especially this poll) with a dose of salts – but a pattern certainly does seem to be emerging… the entire country agrees with Nick!



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By Julian Harris
April 16th, 2010 at 12:33 pm | 7 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

Word breaks that a new ComRes poll is showing the following voting intention:

  • Dave Nu Lite Conservatives – 36%

  • Super Clegg’s Lib Dems – 35%

  • Gordo’s OldNuLab – 24%

Before you start running off to your constituencies and preparing for government, note that the poll was taken, I believe, only from people who watched the TV debate.

I’ll update and add links as and when they become available.

ConsHome are reporting it here.

Guido is reporting it here.


David Cowling, editor of the BBC’s Political Research Unit, has been examining that ITV/ComRes poll. He says: “This was not a voting intention poll but a panel of people who watched the debate and then gave their voting intentions afterwards. This is not a national random sample of the population – some 46 million people – but a sample of the nine million who watched the debate and we have no certainty that the sample even speak representatively for them.”

Also, Sky News report that the poll numbers are “still being finalised”.

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LibDem conference bounce wears off in latest poll

By Mark Littlewood
October 3rd, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Comments Off on LibDem conference bounce wears off in latest poll | Posted in UK Politics

The SIndy’s ComRes poll has the Tories on 40% (+2%), Labour on 28% (+5%) and LibDems on 19% (-4%) – pretty much where we were all at before the conference season began. Be interesting to see if there’s a bounce for Cameron in the next few days – or if the Irish referendum causes him problems.


Mega-poll points to Tory majoity of 70 – with gains from LibDems in the south

By Mark Littlewood
October 3rd, 2009 at 1:26 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

Today’s huge poll from Politics Home points to Cameron securing a majority of 70 (down from the 146 majority predicted by a similar poll last year).

LibDems would lose a number of seats to the Tories in the south and south west, but hold our own in the rest of the country.