Robert Hampton

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17th April 2010

Climbing the Greasy Poll

The first election debate took place on Thursday. If you missed it, it’s available to watch in full on YouTube. I recommend you do, as it was amazing television.

The LibDems were always keen for the leaders’ debates to take place and give them much-needed exposure. But they seem to have exceeded all expectations: not only did the instant reaction polls, held straight after the end of the debate, name Nick Clegg the clear winner, but a subsequent YouGov poll showed a massive boost in support for the “third” party:

The poll puts the Conservatives in the lead on 33% (down four), the Liberal Democrats on 30% (up eight) and Labour on 28 (down three).

It’s only one poll of course, and there’s still a long way to go until the only poll that actually matters, namely the one on 6th May. Even so, that’s an incredible result. Even more incredible is what Parliament will look like if those poll numbers are translated into Commons seats, according to Sky’s expert:

The Conservatives would have 244 seats (up 34), Lib Dems would have 103 (up 41), Labour would have 271 (down 78) and the remaining 32 seats would be taken by other parties.

Labour would still be the largest party with 271 seats despite being third in the popular vote, because of the distribution of votes in 2005 and the application of uniform swing.

So the party in last place in the popular vote still comes first in the election? That’s not democracy, that’s Bush v. Gore.

Still, it’s shaping up to be a very interesting campaign. I hope you’re registered to vote!

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