Greens polling 8% – neck and neck with the Lib Dems

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The Green Party has today latched on to the latest Ipsos Mori polling that puts them on 8% of vote share ahead of the 2015 General Election. This, according to the Ipsos Mori polling, leaves them neck and neck with the Lib Dems.

Cue an excited press release from The Green Party.

Everything about their press release is true but for it to be useful in understanding the Greens prospects come 2015 it needs to be placed in a little bit of context.

1)      The Greens took just 1% of vote in the 2010 election. It looks like they will make big gains on this come 2015.

2)      An average of the last 20 opinion polls put The Green Party on 5% and the Liberal Democrats on 8%. In other words, if I was a betting man I would still be predicting The Green Party will finish 5th behind the Lib Dems.

3)      Lord Ashcroft today confirmed in a separate poll of Tory/Lib Dem marginal seats that the Lib Dems will keep hold of some of them – just not many. However, you can bet your bottom dollar they will return more MPs than the Green Party (who currently hold one).

4)      The Ipsos Mori poll asked just 1,001 their opinion – it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

All that said, the fact that the Green Party are polling like this nationally might well prove to be an additional headache for Ed Miliband’s Labour in their marginal battlegrounds such as Stroud and is a big step up from where they have been coming into previous elections.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Greens polling 8% – neck and neck with the Lib Dems

  1. Peter Lawrence

    Despite being a feature of British politics for the last three decades the Green Party are still broadly regarded as a ‘one trick pony’ i.e. the environment, by the majority of the electorate.
    If asked I suspect the average British voter might be able to name/identify Caroline Lucas MP as a prominent Green Party representative, but would struggle to name/identify (say) Natalie Bennett – Green Party Leader. The ‘Mini-Manifesto’ on the Green Party website (http://issuu.com/lifework/docs/minimaniissuu?e=7496317/7612527) is well written and presented but sounds idealistic and dare I say populist in that it lists lots of gains but no mention of any pain (higher taxation?) that would be needed to put such policies into place.
    In my view the Lib Dems will get a pasting at the next election (May 2015), but will recover in opposition as part of the ebb & flow that has become a feature of their popularity for decades.
    Like it or not, UKIP are currently on the rise and will I suspect significantly increase their share of the vote though I think it unlikely this will translate into parliamentary seats.
    I believe that if the Green Party is to make any significant gains it needs to present an image that has a harder edge, because as the Lib Dems have found out to their cost being in power invariably means making decisions and compromises that alienate your core support base.

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    • Have you ruled out the possibility of another coalition gov’t – maybe even a Lab/Lib gov’t?

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      • Peter Lawrence

        A Labour/Lib Dem coalition is a possibility although frankly Labour isn’t looking like a ‘government in waiting’ and the Lib Dems may well be forced to undertake the kind of detoxification exercise that the Tories have undergone under David Cameron’s leadership.
        My feeling is that unless there are significant changes between now and the next general election the Conservatives will be returned to government albeit with a wafer-thin majority.

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