Nearly three quarters of the Liberal Democrats’ remaining supporters could desert the party at the next general election, a new poll suggests. The poll by Lord Ashcroft asked respondents to say how likely they were to support their chosen party at the next election, with the majority of Conservative and Labour voters intending to stick with their respective parties. However, just 27 percent of Lib Dem supporters said they will definitely vote for their party next year.
Respondents were first asked the standard polling question: “If there were a general election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?”, to which eight percent said they would vote Liberal Democrat. However, they were then asked whether they will definitely vote for the party at the next general election, next May.
Of those who said they would vote Liberal Democrat tomorrow, just 27 percent said they will definitely vote for them next year, meaning that 73 percent of current supporters could actually end up voting for someone else. If they did, that could give the party only just over two percent of the vote at next year’s election.
For that to happen, of course, all wavering Lib Dem voters would have to switch to another party, while no new voters would come over from other parties – a situation that remains unlikely.
This does show, however, how precarious the situation is for the Liberal Democrats. They have already lost a substantial proportion of their support from the last general election, and nearly three quarters of those left may yet desert them.