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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Could Jeremy Corbyn still be excluded from the leadership race? The High Court will rule today

Labour donor Michael Foster has applied for a judgement. 

If you thought Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Jeremy Corbyn automatically run again for leader was the end of it, think again. 

Today, the High Court will decide whether the NEC made the right judgement - or if Corbyn should have been forced to seek nominations from 51 MPs, which would effectively block him from the ballot.

The legal challenge is brought by Michael Foster, a Labour donor and former parliamentary candidate. Corbyn is listed as one of the defendants.

Before the NEC decision, both Corbyn's team and the rebel MPs sought legal advice.

Foster has maintained he is simply seeking the views of experts. 

Nevertheless, he has clashed with Corbyn before. He heckled the Labour leader, whose party has been racked with anti-Semitism scandals, at a Labour Friends of Israel event in September 2015, where he demanded: "Say the word Israel."

But should the judge decide in favour of Foster, would the Labour leadership challenge really be over?

Dr Peter Catterall, a reader in history at Westminster University and a specialist in opposition studies, doesn't think so. He said: "The Labour party is a private institution, so unless they are actually breaking the law, it seems to me it is about how you interpret the rules of the party."

Corbyn's bid to be personally mentioned on the ballot paper was a smart move, he said, and the High Court's decision is unlikely to heal wounds.

 "You have to ask yourself, what is the point of doing this? What does success look like?" he said. "Will it simply reinforce the idea that Mr Corbyn is being made a martyr by people who are out to get him?"