Champagne corks popping at party HQ?

Champagne cork popping photo by Brent SchneemanTim Farron was on Radio Four’s Today yesterday morning. He was talking about Norman Baker’s resignation. In passing, when interviewer John Humphrys mentioned the party potentially losing lots of MPs at the next election, Tim mentioned that the Lib Dems went up by three percentage points in this week’s Lord Ashcroft poll.

When Humphrys said he would mention that this was just one optimistic poll for the party amidst many pessimistic polls, Tim joked that “at party HQ they might not hear you above the sound of champagne corks popping”.

The poll in question ranked the parties: Con 30%, Lab 29%, UKIP 16%, Lib Dem 10%, Green 6%.

At LDV towers we always caution against taking too much notice of just one poll. But, to hell with it, let’s throw caution to the wind and hyperventilate with excitement. We’re in double figures!!!!!

Photo by Brent Schneeman

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Polls.


  • David Pollard 5th Nov '14 - 1:10pm

    Great stuff! One great booze then back to work

  • Are we not forgetting the 11% in ICM poll from the other week? I hereby declare that 2015 will be 1906 all over again 🙂 Campbell-Bannerman lives!

    In seriousness, let us hope this is the start of an upward trend. In 2009 we were on around 17% from November until the start of 2010, so will be interesting to see if that 7% difference narrows.

  • This is likely to be margin of error and nothing else. Let’s not even think about breaking open the Champagne. Five years ago this would have been seen as a disaster. At the same point in 2009, we were averaging 16%. Now it’s 8%.

    The only remotely encouraging thing is the scope for recovery. As Stephan Shakespeare at Yougov has pointed out, some 19% of voters would definitely or probably vote for the Lib Dems in the future, including 12% of Tories and 14% of Labour voters. However, this is only potential for improvement and does not mean it will be fulfilled.

  • paul barker 5th Nov '14 - 1:51pm

    Best not to get excited over single Polls, good or bad, the UK Polling Report average has us on 8%, more or less where they have put us since early June. If we are going to hyperventialate over single Polls I would go for the other ICM series, The “Wisdom Index” which asks voters how they think Parties will do in May, an attempt to get round the “shy voter” problem. The last one gave us 15%.

  • I realise Tim Farron and Paul Walter are just joking. Neither is really saying that our party should celebrate because there is an opinion poll that puts us in FOURTH place.

    Neither is saying that we should ignore the situation in Scotland where 11 of our Westminster MPs are defending seats against a very different set of opinion poll danger. What was our position in Scotland? Was it 4% and FIFTH place?

    Liberal Democrats need to follow Norman Baker’s example and get stuck in where their help will make a difference (maybe 12 seats in the whole UK).

    The national opinion polls might make a difference between dozens of lost deposits and hundreds of lost deposits but they will win seats.

    The only thing that will win seats will be working to keep good constituency Liberal Democrat MPs who will help rebuild the party after May. Those who will be part of the solution, not those who have brought about the problem.

    By May the coalition will have delivered 5 years of slightly modified Conservative government it will not therefore be delivering Liberal Democrat MPs.

  • Daniel Henry 5th Nov '14 - 3:24pm

    I remember four years ago when just after tuition fees we thought we’d hit rock bottom at 12%….

  • Ashcroft poll today. 12 Con/ab marginals. We average 6%, includes 3 seats where we are 5th and 3 lost deposits.
    YouGov poll tonight Lab 34, Con 32, UKIP 15, Lib Dem 7, Green 6, Nats 5. I must go and have a glass of soda water!!!.

  • Perhaps the spirit at HQ would be more accurately described as bibamus, moriendum est.

  • Peter Watson 5th Nov '14 - 11:22pm

    At, tomorrow’s yougov polling is being reported as
    LAB 33% CON 32% LIB 7% UKIP 17% GRN 7%

  • The YouGov poll for the Sun is as stated by theakes – not sure if there was another one.

  • Peter Watson 6th Nov '14 - 12:39am

    The Sun has tweeted tomorrow’s (Thursday 6 Nov) yougov poll:

    YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead by one, Lib Dems and Greens tied on 7%: CON 32%, LAB 33%, LD 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 7%

  • Peter Watson 6th Nov '14 - 12:40am

    Oops – an hour ago it was tomorrow’s poll, now it’s today’s. I should go to bed!

  • Paul In Wokingham 6th Nov '14 - 8:07am

    Re. the Ashcroft Con/Lab marginal poll: the one constituency that stood out to me was Northampton North. While described as a “Con/Lab marginal” it was in fact a 3-way marginal. Here is the 2010 result:

    Con 34.1%
    Lab 29.3%
    LD 27.9%
    BNP 3.3%
    UKIP 3.1%
    Grn 1.1%

    And here is the result in Ashcroft’s poll (sample 1011):

    Lab 35% (+6)
    Con 31% (-3)
    UKIP 22% (+19)
    LD 9% (-19)
    Grn 2% (+1)

    In a 3-way marginal that we would previously have regarded as a realistic prospect we have lost about 70% of our 2010 vote and are relegated to very poor also-rans.

    The lesson that needs to be repeated again and again is that we are in a hole and we need to be realistic with targeting. We can’t afford to have people (to use Bill Le Breton’s memorable phrase) “chasing unicorns”. Oddly enough, there might well be an inverse relationship between the number of lost deposits and the number of held seats.

  • Paul In Wokingham 6th Nov '14 - 8:13am

    Duh! That should of course be “a direct relationship between lost deposits and held seats”. More lost deposits = fewer people working in constituencies we can’t win = more resources targeted at held seats.

  • SIMON BANKS 6th Nov '14 - 10:19am

    If champagne corks really were popping, it confirms my worst fears. Champagne is dreadful stuff. They should stick to real ale and malt whisky – but not in the same glass.

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