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In 2015 if the Lib Dems hold on to as many seats as forecast should we thank NO2AV

November 30, 2014 1:29 PM
By Paul Walter in Liberal Democrat Voice
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Earlier in the week, Stephen Tall covered the latest Ashcroft poll of Lib Dem held seats, which was encouraging. Over on Political Betting, our old friend Mike Smithson offers this intriguing thought:

"If the LDs hold on to as many seats as the latest polling suggests then Clegg should thank NO2AV."

Mike opines further:

"In almost all of the seats the yellows look set to retain their vote share will be in the thirties. They've lost a lot of votes since the heady days of May 2010 but the Tories have lost nearly as many in these seats because of the huge seepage to UKIP.

"The fact that there has only been a 2% LD to CON swing in these seats is down mostly to the losses that the Tories have suffered to UKIP." .

The NO2AV team pushed FPTP as a way of preventing coalitions, but the UKIP effect seems to be working in the opposite direction, making coalition more likely under FPTP, as Mike observes:

"Looking at the details of the switching it is not hard to extrapolate what things might have been like with AV. Many more of the UKIP voters would have made CON their second choice rather than the LDs thus boosting the blue totals in these battlegrounds."

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist in Newbury and West Berkshire. He is Wednesday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Liberal Burblings.