Saturday, February 25, 2006

Leadership polls

This morning's Guardian reports the results of an exit poll conducted at this week's London hustings:

The Guardian's survey of 422 members is the largest conducted to date and offers an indication of the mood of the party, rather than a precise cross-section of opinion. Carried out at the final campaign hustings in London on Thursday, it gives Mr Huhne a clear lead, despite the fact that he was elected to parliament only last May, with 152 first preference votes (36%). Sir Menzies garnered 124 (29%) and Simon Hughes, the party president, 87 (21%). But 59 (14%) of the Lib Dems were still undecided.

If the findings were echoed in the actual ballot, Mr Hughes would be knocked out and the second preference votes of his supporters redistributed to Sir Menzies and Mr Huhne. That would allow Mr Huhne to retain his lead with 184 votes in total, with Sir Menzies relatively close behind on 161 - with 53% and 47% of votes in the final round (thus excluding undecideds in the survey and Hughes supporters who did not indicate a second preference).

The Special Bets site has got hold of somebody's canvass returns:

Special Bets have heard that Menzies Campbell is "marginally" ahead of Chris Huhne with Simon Hughes in 3rd place but "not as far behind as some of the more dire predictions for Simon".

The key piece of information is that among Simon Hughes supporters, their 2nd preferences are very encouraging for Ming - with "Over 60%" expressing Ming as their 2nd preference choice.

The site claims these results have been "adjusted for the natural bias involved with a partisan canvasser". Even so, it hard to know how credence to give them.

1 comment:

James said...

Ever since Mr Huhne entered the contest I have thought that really, whatever the result, he stands to gain the most. If he fails to win outright, then he has successfully marked his territory for the next round; which I believe would come sooner rather than later in any case.
If he does win outright, then by a strange twist his problems actually begin. However, he has plenty of time to correct his aim and is moderate enough not to alienate too many voters as he learns along the way. Fortune has favoured the bold in this contest it seems.