With supporters of Nick Clegg saying loudly that a damaging poll in his constituency does not take into account past voting intention, a re-weighting of the Survation/Unite survey data by Scrapbook suggests he is still trailing Labour by three points.
Challenged on his LBC show the Lib Dem leader blustered:
“This poll is such utter, utter bilge
The 10-point lead for Labour briefed to the press (33%/23%) is based on Question 3, Table 5:
Q3. Normal weightings, likelihood to vote, with undecided and refused removed: “Let’s say the General Election was tomorrow. Which party would you vote for in your Sheffield Hallam constituency?” Base: Likely to vote
Including undecided and voters who refuse to answer (Table 4) improves Clegg’s lot but he is still behind 24 points to 17. And even an ICM-style re-weighting of these figures to take account of past voting behaviour — as advocated by his outriders — won’t save him, leaving him trailing by three points (25%/22%).
Lord Ashcroft’s 20-22 November poll of Sheffield Hallam with historic re-allocations and a similar prompt (see Table 10) gave Clegg a three-point lead of 31% to 28% — suggesting a significant slippage for the DPM in just two months:
Q3. “And thinking specifically about your own constituency and the candidates who are likely to stand there, which party’s candidate do you think you will vote for in your own constituency at the next general election?”
Clegg supporters like Mark Pack and the team at Lib Dem Voice — who ran a co-ordinated rebuttal operation when ICM changed their methodology to suit Lord Oakeshott’s attempted putsch last May — are curiously silent today.
The answer is because they know the Clegger could be in serious trouble in his own back yard.