Fees Fiasco Sinks Lib Dems

"We want our vote back" students chanted

The ongoing furore over tution fees has damaged Lib Dem standing in the polls.

Following last week’s vote on tuition fees which was passed with the support of Lib Dem ministers – with the notable exception of Chris Huhne – two polls just published indicate that support for Liberal Democrats has halved.

A poll published in today’s Sunday Telegraph which was conducted in Lib Dem held seats including Eastleigh, claims that 22% of people who voted Liberal Democrat last May now intend to vote Labour when the next election is called.

In another poll for the News of the World, 29% of voters who supported the Liberal Democrats in the general election said they would not do so again.

The figure of 22% is roughly the same as the size of the swing from Labour to Mr Huhne in May, the consequence of aggressive canvassing by the Liberal Democrats among disaffected Labour voters.

If the Sunday Telegraph figure was applied to the last Eastleigh result, and 22% of Mr Huhne’s vote reverted to the Labour party, then the votes cast for Labour and the Liberal Democrats would be the same in 2010 as they were in 2005 with the Liberal Democrats polling around 19,000 votes and Labour 10,000.

In fact over the past 20 years the Liberal Democrats have polled around 19,000 votes in Eastleigh in every general election – 2005, 2001 and 1997.

A reversion to trend would point to a possible future Conservative victory in the next election. Certainly the Conservative candidate would have won handsomely last May but for the Labour swing.

However the possibility that Mr. Huhne may lose his seat due to reversion by Labour voters assumes there will be no electoral pact in the coalition to allow Lib Dem ministers like Mr Huhne to stand unopposed.

It had been rumoured that such an arrangement had been part of the negotiations to form a coalition– something Mr Huhne did not deny when pressed by BBC political reporter Michael Crick in August.

The News of the World poll also shows voter trust in Nick Clegg has slumped from 66% to 21% . Bookmakers have already taking bets on a possible new party leader and Bet fair currently have Danny Alexander as the favourite to succeed Clegg with Chris Huhne – a previous leadership runner up – in second place.

This elevation in Danny Alexander’s status corresponds with a list also published on the Daily Telegraph website of the ‘top 50’ most influential Liberal Democrats.

While Nick Clegg is at number one it is Danny Alexander in the second spot, once again ahead of Mr Huhne in third.

While on the subject of the last May’s general election, Eastleigh News has just learned that Maria Hutchings the Conservative PPC last May has taken a new post as commercial director at PR company New Century Media.

Photo: ©stephen slominski

see also:

Huhne dodges bullet

We want our vote back!

Tories: We wont fight Huhne

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  5 comments for “Fees Fiasco Sinks Lib Dems

  1. December 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Have no fear, Maria will be back to give Mr Huhne the kicking at the polls that the students could not give him if he had shown his face at Westminster.

    I have a pound bet that he has a police escort for his next visit in the Borough.

    Mr Huhne, you have sunk to the gutter sir and no one will ever take you for your word again..

  2. peter stewart
    December 12, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    If Maria dares to stand in Eastleigh again it will be a big mistake. The best thing she could do would be to move on and find a reasonably “safe” seat. Here in Eastleigh she will find she gets a simultaneous kicking from the LibDems, Labour and UKIP. Not only will she be attacked on 3 fronts, but Huhne could well be LibDem leader by then. He will certainly have acquired super-status and is likely to increase his majority to 10,000. Labour and LibDem voters hate the Tories so much, they WILL vote for Huhne next time to keep out the Tories! Huhne knows this. It has always worked for him and it always will. Also about 50% of Tories hate the coalition, so they will protest vote for UKIP or abstain. Also so many Tories now believe they cannot win in Eastleigh, so again they will vote according to their conscience by voting UKIP. In short the Tory vote will DROP heavily next time round, ESPECIALLY if Cameron is still Tory leader.

  3. Graham Hunter
    December 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Seems even the local Lib Dem’s don’t like Chris Huhne anymore. 21 Lib Dem Councillors certainly don’t as the put their names suggesting he should be deselected for NOT keeping another of his promises, with respect to student fee’s.
    So how Peter Stewart gets the twisted logic he would win hands down defies me.
    Seems Peter is a closet Lib Dem, and not UKIP at all!
    The Labour guys in Eastleigh, that tactically voted for him certainly won’t be conned again, and the students… just ask them.. their language is rather colourful!!
    So From what all sensible analysis are predicting is that Labour will get back their ususal vote share in Eastleigh with the Conservatives winning with a big majority… UKIP well I am sure they will get one thing right.. They should be able to fly a banner behind a plane in future!!

  4. December 14, 2010 at 12:02 am


    Seems even the local Lib Dem’s don’t like Chris Huhne anymore. 21 Lib Dem Councillors certainly don’t as the put their names suggesting he should be deselected for NOT keeping another of his promises, with respect to student fee’s.
    So how Peter Stewart gets the twisted logic he would win hands down defies me.
    Seems Peter is a closet Lib Dem, and not UKIP at all!
    The Labour guys in Eastleigh, that tactically voted for him certainly won’t be conned again, and the students… just ask them.. their language is rather colourful!!
    So From what all sensible analysis are predicting is that Labour will get back their ususal vote share in Eastleigh with the Conservatives winning with a big majority… UKIP well I am sure they will get one thing right.. They should be able to fly a banner behind a plane in future!!  

    Pete,

    While I respect your own held views, to think UKIP could increase their votes in Eastleigh at the cost of gaining huge Tory votes is to say the very least deluded..

    There will be a huge swing away from Chris Huhne come the next ellection and I mean massive..!!

    Huhne will leave Eastleigh faster than he left Westminster to head to the airport..!!

  5. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    December 14, 2010 at 12:39 am

    It’s great to see a bit of ‘election fever’ back
    again – and they say we still have another four years to go!
    My blood pressure won’t stand it!!

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