UK Polling Report has the figures from the latest (and last?) opinion poll to be conducted in Eastleigh ahead of polling day this Thursday — it shows the Lib Dems leading the Tories by 5%.
The poll was conducted for The Times by Populus, the firm which undertook a previous survey for Lord Ashcroft (changes in brackets compare the two):
Lib Dems 33% (+2%)
Conservatives 28% (-6%)
UKIP 21% (+8%)
Labour 11% (-8%)
On the face of it, this is good news for the Lib Dems. HOWEVER, we know the Tories are mounting a major push in the final week of the campaign. We also know that the media expectations have massively shifted towards a Lib Dem victory — even a narrow win would now be presented as a blow to the party, while a defeat would be a calamity.
So please, please, please do all you can over the next six days to help Mike Thornton’s campaign:
- Volunteer to help out in person;
- Make some phone calls from wherever you are;
- Donate to help finance the campaign.
Next Friday morning will be too late. There has rarely been a more important by-election for the party.
It’s up to us whether we remember it for the right reasons or not…
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.