Lib Dems up three to 24% in new national poll

Poll bounce for Nick Clegg's party following first TV debate.

New Statesman - Polls Guide_1271421634962

Latest poll (ITV/ComRes): Conservatives 48 seats short of a majority.

The ComRes figures released earlier today sent the Twittersphere into a frenzy but it turned out this was an unweighted poll of 4,000 people who watched the debate last night.

ComRes have now released some new national figures, adjusted to take into account the 30 million or so voters who didn't watch the show.

These are much less dramatic and show the Tories unchanged on 35 per cent, with Labour down one to 28 per cent and the Lib Dems up three to 24 per cent. So a decent bounce for the Lib Dems but nothing spectacular.

If repeated at the election on a uniform swing, the figures would leave the Tories with 278 seats, Labour with 266 and the Lib Dems with 75.

New Statesman Poll of Polls

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Hung parliament, Conservatives 35 seats short.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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