Sunday, August 22, 2004

Further to my post, below, about opinion polls, here is an extract from this week's FT - whose MORI poll (again, no friend to the Conservatives) shows yet more bad news for the LibDems. Charlie Kennedy this week said is party wasn't going in for unsustainable claims, yet his MPs are predicting he'll be PM within a decade. Errr....

The Liberal Democrats have failed to make significant political gains from their opposition to the Iraq war despite foreign affairs topping the public's list of concerns, a poll for the Financial Times suggests. The Mori survey offers little evidence to sustain Lib Dem claims that the party is set to break Labour and the Tories' traditional stranglehold on domestic politics, opening the way for a genuine three-party contest in next year's general election.

The poll conducted between August 12 and 16 puts the Lib Dems on 21 per cent of those certain to vote, markedly trailing the 32 and 36 per cent backing the Tories and Labour. Charles Kennedy, party leader, this week claimed his party was “without any shadow of doubt” in a much stronger position than at any time in his experience. But the Lib Dems' 21 per cent rating is only two points higher than its share of the vote in the 2001 general election.

The rating also suggests the party's opinion poll bounce from last month's Leicester South by-election victory has already evaporated. The 21 per cent rating is a three-point fall on last month. The proportion of people satisfied with the way Mr Kennedy is doing his job has also dropped, down from 44 to 39 per cent.

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