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.
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.