Monday, 26 July 2010

Did Nick Clegg betray 2.7 million voters?

The headline from Newsnight's polling on the Coalition shows that 40% of Liberal Democrat voters say they would not have voted LibDem if they had known Nick Clegg would form a Coalition with the Conservatives.

58% say they would still have voted LibDem. By contrast, 86% of Tory voters are happy with how they voted after the Coalition.

Those are very similar numbers to the approval ratings for the Coalition, on which Peter Kellner commented last week. The official LibDem line is that this is a communications problem, because voters have not realised how influential they have been. The alternative account would be that it is about substance, not PR, and that the budget helps to explain why Tory voters are so much happier with the government than Liberal Democrats.

So what happens if you translate the poll into a proportion of 6,836,824 LibDem voters on May 6th?

That's 2,734,730 people who voted LibDem who feel betrayed enough by Nick Clegg's coalition choice to withdraw their support from the party.

While 3,965,358 LibDem voters still agree with Nick.


Roger Thornhill said...

Feeling betrayed and being betrayed are two separate things.

Harry Barnes said...

Roger : as the Lib Dems have been betrayed, the disapproval rate should be 100%.

MatGB said...

What the poll didn't ask. How many would've not voted LD if they knw it would be a Labour coalition.

Bet, at the time, it would've been bigger.

Utterly spurious counterfactual polls that're trying to rewrite history, if anyone feels betrayed because Clegg kept exactly to his campaign pledge then they need to reasses their ability to listen to what's being said.

The real betrayal were the several million more who said they were likely to vote LD then changed their minds at the last minute, if so many people hadn't voted Tory just to get Brown out, it'd be a different situation entirely.

Politician keeps promise isn't something the media like to talk about it seems...