The latest poll from Ipsos Mori puts the Lib Dems on 25% (+8) the Tories on 36% (-7) and Labour on 24% (-2). So for the first time since 1982 Labour are in 3rd place in the polls.
I don't want to get carried away here. I am well aware that this is a post-conference poll which traditionally gives us a bit of a boost. However I am pleased to see that in a week when Nick Clegg and our other leading politicians get lots of coverage we see a bounce like this because the next time that is likely to happen is during an election campaign. It also does not quite fit in with the media narrative that the Lib Dems had a bad conference. It is also the second very positive poll for us with another recent one putting us neck and neck with Labour.
What I actually wanted to focus on today though is something that Stephen Glenn has already highlighted here. He fed these figures into the Electoral Calculus seat calculator and found:
On this opinion poll the Tories would have 327 seats, Labour on 209 and the Lib Dems with 82. So even having overhauled a sick Labour Party in the opinion polls the Lib Dems would still have less than half the seats. How the apologists for First Past the Post can call this a clear, simple, easy-to-understand outcome is beyond me. Even when they are in third place Labour would still maintain a strong second place in the number of seats. Just how safe are some of those that wear a red rosette?
Stephen is spot on here. What is great about this is that the figures are coming directly from current polling data from a reputable company.
I hope we get more polls like this and the more we do, the more we can do the seat calculations and draw people's attention to how those percentages would be translated into seats. I think when people start to understand that even though when the Lib Dems get more votes than Labour, Labour would get more than double their number of seats the argument for electoral reform will start to resonate much more loudly with people.