Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Spotlight
  2. Elections
20 April 2010

Why the Lib Dems could do even better than now expected

Millions could be voting Clegg right now, in the postal votes

By James Macintyre

It has already become fashionable to suspect wearily that “Cleggmania” will not last until May 6, and perhaps it won’t. But there is one factor that has not so far been discussed when it comes to measuring how many votes the Liberal Democrats may receive in this election.

Each election, around three million people vote by post. Of those, around half — one and a half million — return their voting forms early, after they receive them. They are being returned this week.

Now, traditionaly, a number of postal voters have been ex-pats, and the process has benefited the Tories. However, if the surge in support for Nick Clegg and his party is as real as it appears in the polls, he could be receiving thousands or even millions of votes right now.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
“I learn something new on every trip"
How data can help revive our high streets in the age of online shopping
Why digital inclusion is a vital piece of levelling up