|A new voting phenomenon – the “Lib Dem reverse ferret”
||[May. 7th, 2010|11:59 am]
A few people saying this morning that this was a dream result for the Lib Dems, with a hung parliament giving them leverage for electoral reform. I don’t buy it. After the highs of the campaign, losing seats will be a devastating blow to the leadership. It was unthinkable, even on the even of the election. What Clegg and his team wanted was a sign that they had won support from the country in their own right.
Significantly, the reason no one saw it coming was last night produced a new electoral phenomenon – the “Lib Dem reverse ferret”. Even the very last opinion poll dramatically overestimated the Lib Dem share of the vote. The Ipsos Mori poll for the Standard put them on 27 per cent, which would have seen them gain seats.
Back in the days of Thatcher, pollsters grew used to the tendency of some voters not to admit they were voting Tory, meaning Thatcher’s vote was underestimated. This time round, some voters seem to have wanted to claim they were going to vote Lib Dem, but when it came to the crunch, they didn’t. They wanted the euphoria of taking part in Cleggmania, but abandoned him at the eleventh hour.
There will be an inquest – and Lib Dems will now think more than ever before that they will be permanently stumped unless the voting system is changed.
2010-05-07 12:57 pm (UTC)
I suggest that the LibDems overwhelming strength is in their local associations and knowledge of local issues. Once they go centre stage and offer National Policies the differences between LibDems and existing parties are hard to ascertain. Those differences which can be ascertained are heavily slagged off by the other parties' meeja (one wonders why meeja outlets operating under the direct and immediate control of a political party don't count as election expenses, but then, that's a hopelessly corrupt system for you - live with it)
Nick Clegg's appearance on stage may have caused the meeja to give him a few column inches in their relentelss search for column inches (any column inches) and to coin the term "Cleggmania" in a feeble attempt to give the story legs, but it didn't attract national voters and it alienated voters who want to hear the LibDems taking action on their immediate problems.
Who wants to hear another berk rabitting on about some meaningless deficit when you're looking for someone to help you with the funds needed to go bankrupt so you can hang on to your home?
That the state Toffee boy and good ol' Gordo have brought us to.
2010-05-07 02:34 pm (UTC)
I'm deeply disturbed by the discovery of cunning and treacherous new creatures known as 'reverse ferrets'. Surely they will breed backwards and take over the world the wrong way!
2010-05-07 03:54 pm (UTC)
Local factors, individual issues
Nick Clegg might have had a high approval rating in the polls but what people have to vote for when they face the ballot paper is not Nick Clegg (unless they live in Sheffield Hallam) but their own local candidate.
The TV debates concentrated media coverage on the party leaders and didn't take local factors and personalities into account. That's why the opinion polls were rather inaccurate.
Some Liberals have lost their seats to Labour, some have lost to the Conservatives, and vice versa - all based on local factors and individual issues such as performance of particular candidates on expenses.
2010-05-07 08:40 pm (UTC)
I'm one of the reverse ferrets
I've lived in Scotland for the past eight years, but I'm a Danish citizen only.
However, YouGov don't have a "not allowed to vote" option, so I've happily been ticking LibDem for a while, but of course I couldn't vote yesterday.
2010-05-08 01:09 am (UTC)
Re: I'm one of the reverse ferrets
Why would you complete a poll form for an election you can't vote in? That's just odd.
2010-05-08 09:20 am (UTC)
Re: I'm one of the reverse ferrets
YouGov surveys don't tell you in advance what they're about, and they often have additional questions that make sense for me you reply to (for instance about voting intentions for the Scottish Parliament, for which I do have a vote).
Do be honest, it also seemed like a good idea to make the LibDems look good in the polls...
Lib-Dems need to immediately get into a coalition with Labour on the "strict" condition that urgent widespread electoral reform is the very first piece of legislation to be passed.
Go for preferential voting, forget PV, forget referendums, just DO IT! Immediate reform.
Change election day to Saturday to minimise the recent fiasco. Cut the term of parliaments to three years.
This is Nick Clegg's first and, only "one off opportunity", to give minority voters across the UK a voice and empowerment. Conservatives will NEVER brook these reforms. Labour [if they use their brains] will.
Getting a handful of seats in parliament via PV is useless if you can't wield power. You're still a tiny frog in a big pond. You'll be completely ignored.
When major parties become utterly dependent upon your preferences to win seats then you wield "real actual power" and gain concessions previously undreamed and impossible to otherwise achieve.
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Currently government behave very silly, and break their agreements.