Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Around Darlington, the Liberal Democrats are busy telling disillusioned supporters of both the main parties that it's safe to "lend" them their vote. My blogging colleague Mike Barker boldly states (in response to what was originally a national Tory line) that if you vote yellow, you get yellow. But is that really true?
The results of the last election here in Darlington were as follows;
So the LibDems, whilst improving on their 2001 performance, still trailed in a poor third.
For Mike to overturn Labour's majority requires an 18% swing from Labour to the Liberal Deomcrats - that would put both parties on or around the 34/35%. But the further Labour's vote is driven down, the closer the Tories get to the winning post too.
Enormous swings do occasionally happen in constituencies at General Election time - usually because of local factors. Nationally, the polls are only showing something like an 8.5% swing from Labour to the LibDems. So even if things are slightly better for the Liberal Democrats here in Darlington, (and I'm not sure they are) they are going to fall well short of the votes needed to pass the winning post - but they will drag Labour's vote down to a level where the Tories are within striking range.
One thing is clear from the doorstep - Labour waverers may be flirting with the Lib Dems (or not voting at all) but one thing they definitely do not want to see is a Tory MP or (God forbid) a Tory Government. So the question I'm asking them (very nicely, of course) is, "Are you feeling lucky?" Plenty take a look over the precipice, shudder, and tell me they'll be voting Labour on May 6th.