More Sunday polling

A final chunk of polling from the weekend – the YouGov tables should be up on the website shortly, but looking at what is available on the Sunday Times website the latest YouGov AV polling has YES on 45%, NO on 55%. This is tighter than the recently polling we’ve seen, which has tended to show the NO lead in the high teens, but I’ll repeat the caveat I added to my Scottish post a few minutes ago that we should always be cautious about drawing conclusions from a single poll (besides, there are four days to go, and the polls are showing NO leads between 10 points and 20+ points – the game appears to be over).

Secondly, the Leicester South by-election seems to have been rather forgotten about due to all the other elections on the same day, but we do have a poll on it in the Independent on Sunday from Survation. Topline figures there, with changes from the 2010 result in Leicester South, are CON 20%(-1), LAB 61%(+15), LDEM 14%(-13), UKIP 5%(+3) – not much change for the Conservatives but the Lib Dem vote fracturing towards Labour, much in line with the national picture.

Thirdly, it’s not really a poll but it’s the best guide we have to the locals – Rallings and Thrasher’s latest local government projections based on their model using local by-election data has the Conservatives on 35%(down 5 from 2007), Labour on 38% (up 12 from 2007) and the Lib Dems on 17% (down 7 from 2007). This would equate to a Labour gain of around 1300 council seats, with the Conservatives losing just shy of 1000 and the Lib Dems losing around 400.


288 Responses to “More Sunday polling”

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  1. @ Neil A

    Amber, you’ve made it quite clear from the outset that you don’t believe NATO has a right to intervene.
    —————————————————-
    I don’t believe that I have questioned the NFZ or the arms embargo. Nor have I questioned the right of the UN (as opposed to NATO) to intervene to protect civilians. I have always said my preference was for a UN task force to create safe zones in Libya.

    Would Gaddafi dare to have his forces fire on a UN peace-keeping force? I did not think so. And, to support this assertion, he has not had his forces fire on NATO planes either. The only reports of that, have been of rebel forces accidently firing anti-aircraft weapons.

    Regarding NATO, I have said that within international law, they cannot mount a one-sided intervention. The UN charter is quite clear on this – they should be neutral. I do not believe that they should be making ground attacks, but if they are – under international law – they should be attacking all heavy weaponry that poses a ‘clear & present danger’ to civilians, regardless of which side is using it.

  2. Amber
    “The Libyan people should be given the opportunity to humiliate Gaddafi by voting him from office & then to request that a full investigation be made of his alleged crimes against humanity & that, if the evidence shows he is culpable, he stand trial for what he has done.”

    While I understand your humane reaction to this crisis, I don’t see how your suggestion could be achieved. In the unlikely event that Gaddafi would agree to elections (perhaps in exchange for a pause in the bombing), how would it be possible to make sure that they were no rigged? We can’t even do that in our own country. Also, as no opinion polls seem to have taken place in Libya lately, it is always possible that Gaddafi could win an election fairly. What then?

  3. @ Colin & Pete B

    Also, as no opinion polls seem to have taken place in Libya lately, it is always possible that Gaddafi could win an election fairly. What then?
    ———————————————–
    I think the UN have supervised elections before & the result has held. I think that Gaddafi’s family would have supported a transition to one person, one vote elections. I think they would have persuaded their father that this was the best chance for legitimate succession.

    And do we really think that Gaddafi would stand & might even win in a fair election?

  4. Russian veiw of the Tripoli bombings is that Nato has fallen into the trap by becoming involved in (escalating/prolonging?) a Libyan civil war… and they know it. The only way they can see themselves saving face over this miscalculation (rather than taking the sensible step of entering into negotiation) is to assassinate Gadhafi.

  5. @ Mick Park

    Amber, if they knew Gaddafi was in a chicken coop NATO would bomb it and say it was a command and control centre.

    Blair managed to bully Goldsmith into saying everything was legally super so lets not pretend those doing the bombing will justify any and all actions with a straight face.

    Gaddafi is doing the same as he bombs Misrata so anyone looking for moral high ground in this quagmire should bring their own ladder.
    ————————————————-
    Sadly, I fear your cynicism is not misplaced.

    I have appreciated people engaging with me here. It has helped me to clarify what I wish to say to the MPs that I will contact about this.

  6. If the lib dems lose 400 seats and get 17pc of the vote that will be a huge success given the barrage of crap thrown at them by the right wing media. Of course it’ll be potrayed as a disaster but it ain’t a wipe out!

  7. In a desperate bid to get this thread back onto polls and polling (and off Libya – as interesting as it is, it is not really relevant to the subject heading).

    I see Rallings and Thrasher have a 8.5% swing to Lab from Con and a 9.5% swing to Lab from LD from 2007. This would suggest that much of the 2007 protest vote against Labour was protesters switching both to Cons and LDs.

    This would also explain why the Cons failed to gain an overall majority. The Labour deserters went in two directions – not wanting Labour in power, but definitely not wanting the Tories either.

    Now (at least according to the polls) it seems that the Lab defectors to LD have returned in droves plus the left leaning LDs who have turned against their team. But the Tory support has remained at the same level as 2010.

    As Eoin often points out, it is the Lab defectors to the Cons who are the ones who really need to be won back if an election is to be won (like others I can’t see LDs staying at 10% in a proper GE).

  8. @ Ashley,

    IF is the most important word in your post. But every time voters have been given a chance in this parliament their rejection of the LDs has been worse than the polls.

    I fear a perfect storm is brewing and it is scheduled to hit on Thursday …

  9. Adrian B

    The point I was making about the Lib Dem ‘local premium’ was that it only applies to local elections (and I deliberately excluded the times the locals coincided with general elections). There really isn’t that much publicity for those and the balance rules that apply to GEs don’t apply. There is often a boost for the Lib Dems after the locals (as there might be after a successful byelection), but that’s a different matter.

    A local premium is by definition local. It may be because some voters will vote Lib Dem locally but for another Party nationally (opinion polls always ask about the mythical general election tomorrow). This could be because their national vote is tactical or because they prefer the local Lib Dem policies or candidates. There may even be no candidate of their preferred Party standing locally.

    In addition it may be that those who vote Lib Dem locally are more interested in local affairs and so more likely to turn out to vote – with a disproportionate influence. All this is a reflection of the fact that Lib Dems (and before them the Liberal Party) have concentrated on community politics for over 40 years, building up their strength in many areas.

    The interesting point about Ralling and Thrasher’s figures is that they show a premium against current polls based on actual votes in actual byelections that have taken place since the coalition was formed. Now I’ve been as cynical as anyone about using these, but as Anthony points out it’s all we have. And what they show is plausible based on past elections and the fact that these extra votes are about local issues not national ones.

    Of course none of this will help Nick Clegg, quite the opposite. Where seats are lost, the effect of the coalition will be blamed; where they are won or held, it will be put down to local campaigning and candidates.

  10. To those forecasting an increase in lib dem support between now and 2015, I fear you’ll be sorely disappointed. Those who have deserted the party are left wing and will not return – whether the coalition is successful in its bid to restore the economy or not (in fact, success in this area will probably make them even more mad!) As for those still supporting the lib dems come next time round, they must be fairly right wing in their beliefs – so why not just go the whole hog and vote tory?

  11. Adrian B

    But every time voters have been given a chance in this parliament their rejection of the LDs has been worse than the polls

    Given that the only times have been local byelections (which R&T used to produce the figures you are disputing) and two parliamentary byelections (at one of which the Lib Dems got 31.9%), I think that’s not quite right. :)

  12. Adrian – you are correct. On the door in 2010 I had a lot of former Lab voters saying ‘not this time but definitely not Tory’ – Whilst my Tory opponent Stephen Dorrell gained a lot of votes, my Lib-Dem opponent benefited very well and pushed me in to 3rd place. (incidentally Robin defected to Labour last year).

    As it stands I think that the left leaning Lib-Dems will stick with Labour – unless Huhne gets his way and the coalition is collapsed by left leaning Lib-Dem MPS – this is their only chance for survival. The AV vote is going down badly, the few Lib-Dem policy gains are being drowned out by them taking the blame for unpopular Tory policies.

    All now rests on how local Lib-Dems handle their predicted melt-down on Thursday (but be warned Lib-Dems are damn good at local politics and may confound the pollsters).

    What we are seeing is discontent all round – Lib-Dems were offered AV by Gordon Brown without a referendum and may have lost any chance of electoral reform for a generation – but also lots of Tory Councillors are going to lose their council seats, and it is folly for any Party Leader to abandon their core activists. As for Labour we can only go up unless the economy blooms with growth before the next GE

  13. Amber

    ” I think that Gaddafi’s family would have supported a transition to one person, one vote elections.”

    With the greatest of respect Amber, what you think is of little relevance in the face of evidence to the contrarary.

    JUst today Gadaffi has told NATO he will not “step down”…………..and by the way, according to BBC news , is right now shelling Misrata port whilst a relief ship is trying to dock.

    I suggest to you that all the evidence points to one conclusion-Gadaffi will resist all political opposition by force of arms. Any community which resists will be attacked en bloc,-fighters & civilians alike,and any humanitarian assistance to such a community will also be attacked .

    It should be noted that his forces have also fired across the border with Tunisia-the latter country having lodged a formal complaint.

    BY the way, NATO is an agent of the UN. Its actions are mandated by UNSCR 1973.

  14. I think it’s far too early to speculate about the next General Election. Too many things could have happened by then. We might have an economic miracle, be involved in another war, be invaded by aliens, or anything else you can think of.

    I think the forthcoming council elections are the most interesting I can remember. Normally the government of the day gets a kicking in local elections. The dynamics of a coalition getting a kicking will be interesting, especially in light of the various local coalitions around the country – some of which are Lib-Lab coalitions. Also, there isn’t usually a referendum on the same day. Will this affect turnout, and will that in turn affect the result?

    In my area we also have a new party – Traditional Conservatives – which is people who have previously been Conservative councillors. Their policies are to stop the armed forces cuts and stop all immigration, though what a local council can do about these remains to be seen, :)

    Has anyone else come across this or any other new party?

  15. ERIC GOODYER

    Interesting post – but I don’t think the Lib Dems will get the 17% which Rallings and Thrasher predict.

    The Lib Dem local pemium may be less in this round of local elections because the atmosphere created by the AV campaigns is a bit like that created by a GE campaign.

    In some areas quite a lot of people who don’t normally vote in local elections might turnout this time because of the AV campaign so the profile this time might be different.

  16. I have seen one report (who knows if there is any truth to it?) that David Davis is inviting contributions to a manifesto: contributors are seen to be backing a leadership bid in the event that Cameron loses the AV referendum – their aim would be to block the legislation (which they see as denying the party any chance of a future overal majority) and precipitate a GE.

    It is said that one manifesto pledge is to slow the pace of deficit reduction. ;)

    Given the AV polling picture atm, we may never know.

  17. @ Roger Mexico,

    Thanks for your post – that was really helpful, and also David B for a slightly different persepctive.

    I do think these Council Elections appear different from before, and certainly there is the pardox of greater LD exposure but also much greater LD unpopularity and the uncertain affect of the AV referendum – will it boost Lab, Con or LD turnout or none?

  18. @Billy Bob – might be helpful if you could point u to the source if it is in the public domain.

  19. BILLY BOB
    Considering the likelihood of a No victory, Davis setting himself up for ‘pushing Cameron out’ may just be positioning himself for much later (2015+) to become Tory leader.

    I think David Davis would be as equally surprised by a Yes2AV result as any of us (even those, like myself, who’re ardent supporters).

  20. Sorry (for some reason this page takes an age to appear)! :)

    h
    ttp://www.danmccurry.org/2011/04/06/the-cameron-collapse-scenario/

  21. “their aim would be to block the legislation (which they see as denying the party any chance of a future overal majority) and precipitate a GE.”

    Block what legislation? As far as I’m aware it’s all already passed and, subject to the government accepting the boundary change recommendations, it’ll be implemented without any further parliamentary vote.

  22. In the first 4 months of 2011, there have been in the EU 3 GE (Eire, Estonia, Finland) and 4 German State Elections.
    These are the aggregated results by European political party:
    European People’s Party 34% (-2)
    European Socialists 28% (+3)
    European Lib, Dem. &Ref.15% (-10)
    European Greens 9% (+3)
    European Left 8% (+2)
    Others 6% (+4)
    Or, by broader political family:
    Center-right 49% (-12)
    Center-left 45% (+8)
    Others 6% (+4)
    The tendency towards the center-left is very clear, and is due almost exclusively to ELDR collapse. In terms of share of power, the Social Democratic family is the one that benefited the most. PES parties jumped from opposition to senior govt. partner in Hamburg and to junior gvt. partner in Eire, Finland and Baden-Wurttemberg. They remained in power in Rhenany-Palatinate (senior partn.) and in Saxony-Anhalt (junior partner). They remained in opposition only in Estonia, but even there they scored an all-time high. Conversely, the liberals lost two PMs (Eire and FInland) scoring all-time lows. They were evicted from two German State Parliaments and moved from junior partner to opposition in B-W. They remained in power only in Estonia (senior partner). The results of the Greens were more mixed: excellent results in Germany, including their historic victory in B-W, but bad results elsewhere: eviction from Irish and Estonian Parliament, lost of 1/3 of their seats and moving back to opposition in Finland. Mixed results also for Populars: two new PMs (Eire, Finland), but loss of two important German States, Hamburg, and B-W, status quo elsewhere. Finally, the progress of the Left is due exclusively to Eire (SF + Un. Left. All) good results, whereas they stagnate in Germany and experienced slight decrease in Finland – anyway, they were and remain in opposition everywhere.

  23. ROGER H

    I would guess that they would precipitate a GE, expect to win it, and then overturn the Act. Thus no AV.

  24. Virg,

    Great round up…..

    Roger/Adrian.. great exchange

  25. “I would guess that they would precipitate a GE, expect to win it, and then overturn the Act. Thus no AV.”

    I can’t see it working (and that article has no mention of anyone planning to block legislation). They’d have to choose to forgo the boundary changes otherwise AV comes in automatically (presumably resulting in them failing to win a majority).

  26. “I can’t see it working (and that article has no mention of anyone planning to block legislation). They’d have to choose to forgo the boundary changes otherwise AV comes in automatically (presumably resulting in them failing to win a majority).”

    Yes, a snap election would be before the boundary change. But then they can create a new bill that disconnects the boundary change from AV, and get rid of AV.

    I didn’t say it had a chance in hell of working electorally, but legally no problem.

  27. @RogerH

    I think the suggestion about blocking/overturning legislation comes from a subsequent page on that blog… but the pages are taking too long on my computer…

    If any such manoeuvre was attempted I suspect there would be a legal challenge.

  28. Billy,

    DD is calling it a ‘blue book’. By the year is out we’ll have a blue blue for reds, a blue book for blue and a purple book for New Labour..

  29. Adrian B

    By the way I’m not saying that the Lib Dems will get 17%, only that you would expect them to do around that based on poll ratings of 10% in normal circumstances. It’s probably a better target to look at than the number of seats won or lost. If they do better, it may show there is still a lot of pro-Lib Dem anti-coalition feeling out there.

    The greater exposure shouldn’t make any difference to the locals – it doesn’t affect the local premium by definition and it is already built into the national component shown in the polls. As far as the effect of the referendum goes I’m not sure. Local elections and referendums seem to have the same sort of turnout, but whether it’s the same people is another matter.

  30. A random thought on Coalition, AV, and the state of the polls.

    Tommorow, a former colony of yours that still recognizes the Queen as its head of state is having an election….Canada. No one really knows what will happen since the polling is unprecedented showing the perenially third place New Democratic Party a strong second within a few percentage points behind the incumbent Conservatives. What’s amazing is that the Liberals (who are often in red) who were once considered teh natural governing party of Canada are in third place at historic lows. The Liberals have been the official opposition for over 5 years now so their decline is somewhat surprising.

    Now I don’t follow Canadian politics particularly closely but it seems like there are a couple of reasons for this. First, the Liberal leader is deeply unpopular. Second, the Liberals haven’t been able to distringuish themselves as an effective opposition. The reasons are interesting in light of the current state of politics in the UK. When the Conservatives won in 2006 (after being out of power for 13 years), they were unable to win a majority. For five years, the Conservative Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has led a minority government though he has no junior coalition partner. To pass anything, he’s had to rely on the votes of other parties in Parliament. Notwithstanding the fact that they’re the official opposition, the Liberals have been attacked for voting in favor of many of the acts of the Conservatives. This puts them in a no win position with voters (they vote to get the very best deal they can and keep stability in government but can’t criticize the government without looking hypocritical).

    Thus the NDP has successfully attacked them for supporting budgets and legislation that are unpopular. And the most recent polls show that a huge number of former Liberals are switching to vote for the NDP. Then they’ve got problems with their leader, Michael Ignatieff, who’s described as a “public intellectual.” From what I’ve seen him, he looks like someone attempting to imitate Barack Obama…albeit not successfully……and it comes off as phony and desperate.

    Looking at this situation, it strikes me that Labour should be grateful for the Coalition. It’s enabled them to become the sole main opposition party and allows them to sit back and not support any items put forward by the Conservatives. They’re not put in a place where they have to choose between negotiating for the best deal they can get or keeping their voting base.

    Now, thinking about this all in relation to AV. Canada doesn’t have AV, they have strict FPTP. This is one reason that no one has any idea of how seat totals will turn out tommorow. But it strikes me that there are enough political similarities to demonstrate why a number of senior Labour politicians don’t want AV. Like the UK, Canada has a number of unaligned “anyone but Tory” voters who will tactically vote and they have at least two major center-left parties. The Liberals of Canada have always been able to bill themselves as the main alternative to the Tories and thus have benefitted from anti-Tory votes (don’t vote NDP, don’t vote Green, don’t vote Bloc Quebec or that will let the Tories in….sound familiar?). For a lot of Labour politicians, there has to be a realization that AV presents a risk from the left where other left wing parties can overtake Labour because the voters won’t fear losing the seat to the Tories. Labour can always be marked as a second preference vote. Labour might easily struggle to build broad coalitions of voters if other parties on the left can now compete with them.

    Right now, this situation is playing out in the Scottish Parliament elections. Scottish voters don’t really seem to like Tories but that doesn’t result in an easy path to victory for Labour since the SNP, which appears broadly leftist, stands in the way.

    Anyway, my random thought of the day.

  31. @ Colin

    “JUst today Gadaffi has told NATO he will not “step down”…………..and by the way, according to BBC news , is right now shelling Misrata port whilst a relief ship is trying to dock.

    I suggest to you that all the evidence points to one conclusion-Gadaffi will resist all political opposition by force of arms. Any community which resists will be attacked en bloc,-fighters & civilians alike,and any humanitarian assistance to such a community will also be attacked .

    It should be noted that his forces have also fired across the border with Tunisia-the latter country having lodged a formal complaint.”

    Not trying to continue the debate here on Libya but did want to point out that I am in complete agreement with you on this.

  32. Question:

    Would any of your Prime Ministers ever do something like this? Or perhaps more importantly, would the Queen ever do something like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9mzJhvC-8E&NR=1

  33. The SNP has a strong social conscience, which is very Scottish in itself.

    “One of the reasons Scotland didn’t take to Lady Thatcher was because of that. We didn’t mind the economic side so much. But we didn’t like the social side at all.”

  34. My final thought this evening – do Governments always get kicked in local elections? Maybe at mid-term but surely not after just 1 year. The coalition came in with high hopes and expectations, they ought to be still riding that well.

    Can anyone provide historic evidence? e.g. Labour in 1998 or Torys in 1978?

  35. Answering my own question in 1978 the Tories made gains at the expense of Labour – thus no first year kicking. In 1998 Labour lost a small amount of ground, notably Lib Dems took Liverpool – but again no big kicking

    So historically it seems (on two past Con & Lab major GE wins) there was no year 1 kicking of the Government. The coalition seems to be making modern history by losing popularity so quickly

  36. Eric Goodyer
    Tories lost 480 seats in 1980 (first elections after GE victory).
    Labour gained 2 councils in 1998.

    Source Wikipedia.
    Fairly inconclusive.

  37. @Eoin –

    “MORI had Labour leading by 10%. Now they have Labour leading by 0%.
    ICM had Labour leading by 4%. Now they have Labour leading by 2%.
    YG had Labour leading by 11%. Now they have Labour leading by 5%.
    ComRes had Labour leading by 9%. Now they have Labour leading by 4%.

    Of course, it may well be that the Labour lead has not narrowed.”

    As ever Eoin, you pick your polls and you pick your dates.

    You could just as well have said:

    ICM have shown Labour’s lead grow from -1% to +2% Comres from 3% to 4%
    YouGov from 4% to 5%
    Populus from 3% to 4%
    Angus Reid from 5% to 11%
    Opinium from 2% to 3%

    [I didn’t use MORI because I didn’t like the numbers – I’m sure you’ll understand]

    All facts, all correct, and, as your perfectly correct facts were, all carefully selected to back up the point I was making.

    There’s been a bit of movement in the Labour lead and in general it looks like it rose on a couple of occasions to double digits and settled back again to 6 – 7% or so.

    As someone said earlier, we are splitting hairs, but my point isn’t about whether the Labour lead is up or down – it’s about the insidious cherry picking of only those statistics that suit a case, the ignoring of contrary evidence, the extrapolation from the cherry picked data of a theory that is presented as fact and the apparent indignation when someone points these things out.

  38. SocalLiberal
    Weren’t the Tories virtually wiped out in Canada a few years ago?

  39. Not sure if anyone can help, but Peter Oborne in the telegraph wrote a piece today saying that Tory canvassers were finding better than expected support on the doorsteps. Elsewhere papers have reported all three parties saying the Lib em vote is holding up well in Con/Lib Dem contests, and R&T are suggesting 1300 gains for Labour.

    Is there anyone out there with direct canvassing experience this time who has the remotest sense of which, if any, of these apparent scenarios is true?

  40. So…the general council elections consensus is:

    Tories will lose some seats, but not a huge number

    Labour will make big gains, but not huge gains.

    LD will suffer big losses.

  41. But there are lots of seats up this time – more than people often realise.
    I think Labour should gain about 1,200.

  42. On the AV referendum, one thought struck me tonight was the argument from the no campaign that voters would find it too complex and hard to understand.

    I’m quite struck that the Yes team didn’t start suggesting that the No campaign must think the English are not as clever as the Scots, Irish and Welsh, all of whom appear to be very comfortable with multiple votes, preferences or regional/constituency votes. Just wonder how that campaign line might have gone down.

  43. @JoeJamesB

    To my knowledge most of the seats up for election are in middle England. No elections in most of the metropolitan councils (not in London anyway). This makes them slightly harder for Labour to win, and slightly easier for Con and LD to hold on.

    If the LD vote does not collapse that will hurt Labour, but may help the YES campaign.

  44. @Alec

    It’s a long shot. But with YG showing a halving of the NO lead to 10%, if YES can rally in the last week to reduce the gap to 5%, grab a few last minure DK’s, and gain the benefit of MOE, they could still pull it off

    On the other hand, they could still lose by 20% :)

  45. RAF

    h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_local_elections,_2011

    Most of England is having elections, including Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Sheffield etc.

  46. @Raf – long shot indeed, but I do get the sense that the Lib Dems are landing all the big shots now – if anyone is actually listening.

  47. @Alec,

    Perhaps the voters of the UK are in unusually convivial spirits this year, with the sunshine and the Bank Holidays. Maybe they are just trying to make everyone feel happy by telling the doorstoppers what they want to hear? A sort of Credit Crunch Blitz Spirit??

  48. @PeteB

    Ah…

    I was looking for a reason why LD vote might hold up.

  49. Alec

    You ask
    Is there anyone out there with direct canvassing experience this time who has the remotest sense of which, if any, of these apparent scenarios is true?

    I am running an election in a three way merginal in Sunderland (Washington South) for Labour. The Ward was won by Labour last year but by the Tories in 2007 band 2009. In 2005 the Lib Dems had one seat as well. So a real three way I think and as such could be one to watch.

    On the door step there is a clear improvement for Labour comparee to last years polling, the Lib Dem vote appears to have completly vanished (however it must be said that it never really appeared on canvass returns last year but they still got about 27% of the actual vote), the Tory vote while still strong in their haertland is very soft with a large number indicating that they will not turn out.

    This might well be typical of seats in the north where the Lib Dem vote was in the main still anti Tory but could be different in the South of the country.

    I am more than happy to prove a break down in this ward if others think that this is an interesting election.

  50. “if YES can rally in the last week”

    They’ve ran out of time with only four days to go.
    Looks like they should have ran the Mandelson/Huhne strategy of saying vote No to annoy the Tories from the beginning and they would have had had a far better chance of winning.

    The soft swing vote was always going to be Labour voters.

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