COMRES / ITV NEWS POLL: LIB DEM VOTE COLLAPSES IN SOUTH WEST – TORIES SET TO BENEFIT
The latest ComRes / ITV News Battleground poll has focused in on the Liberal Democrat heartland – 14 currently Liberal Democrat seats in the South West (where their Coalition partners, the Conservatives, are in second) - and reveals a 13-point swing from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives. If a 13 point swing was seen in each constituency, it could hand the Conservatives control of all of these seats.
In further bad news for Nick Clegg, three in ten voters in these seats (29%) say that Mr Clegg puts them off voting for the Liberal Democrats. Strikingly, one in three voters in these Liberal Democrat seats (32%) say that the party has become irrelevant, including one in five (21%) people who voted Liberal Democrat in 2010.
With a hung parliament looking more likely with every day that passes in this election campaign, half (47%) of voters in these Liberal Democrats heartland seats say that the Liberal Democrats should try to form a formal coalition in the event of a hung parliament, rather than providing informal support to a government (23%) or staying out of government altogether (20%).
Traditionally, the Liberal Democrats benefit from popular constituency MPs to retain support where they have incumbency – however, seven in ten people in these seats (72%) say that they will be voting for the party that they like, not just the individual candidate. Though half (52%) of Liberal Democrats say they will vote for the candidate they like best, not just the party.
Tom Mludzinski, Head of Political Polling at ComRes said: “Whatever might be happening nationally, this key battleground poll highlights the challenge the Liberal Democrats are facing. This dramatic drop off in support for the party in their own heartlands of the South West points to a very difficult election for them. David Cameron will be licking his lips at the prospect of picking up a significant number of seats from his junior Coalition partner.”