Driving seat to where?
Frankly, the ‘TwitterVerse’ reaction to the YouGov poll putting Labour behind the Liberal Democrats has been astonishing to say the least. Pick of the bunch was this gem from ‘UK Labour Party’:
Labour tweeters rushed to re-tweet Fraser Nelson’s Tweet claiming that this would keep Gordon Brown in power seemingly oblivious to the reality that Fraser is the editor of The Spectator and thus was just giving us a preview of the Conservatives ‘taint them by association’ strategy. More considered comment came from a Future Bear for All:
the Tories now need a bigger swing than normal to bring in the less volatile seats, the seats at the bottom of that 200 strong list, because there is genuine 3 party competition at the top.
Conversely, however, in Labour > Conservative marginal seats Labour’s campaigning edge will now be blunted; a squeeze message becomes less and less tenable as the Liberal Democrats become more and more credible. What is more, alienated core Labour voters may become emboldened to switch. So many variables enter into the equation that it is more than likely that a Liberal Democrat surge will, in fact, cost Labour as much if not more than the Conservatives. Also, the rise of the Liberal Democrats may encourage further switching to other smaller parties like UKIP, the Greens or *shudder* the BNP.
All of this highlights the problems with using a Uniform National Swing in seat projection; it fails utterly to take account of factors like this and leads to the kind of complacent triumphalism witnessed tonight. However, none of this would be a problem except, to my eyes, the leadership and Labour’s strategic direction suffers from a similar kind of myopia.