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  2. Elections
7 May 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:21am

“We won the campaign,” says Gove. “Er, no,” says everybody else

Shadow schools minister struggles with his sums.

By Jon Bernstein

An odd claim from Michael Gove, the Tory shadow schools minister, on the Today programme this morning. In an interview with Evan Davis (starts around 00:45:00) he declares:

We won the campaign. We ended up with a higher share of the vote at the end of the campaign than we did at the beginning of it.

Er, no actually, Michael. Here are the polls that came out either on the day Gordon Brown went to the Queen or, more generously perhaps, the day before:

 

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Harris/Metro (6 April)

  • Con 37
  • Lab 28
  • Lib Dem 20
  • Others 9

YouGov/Sun (6 April)

  • Con 40
  • Lab 32
  • Lib Dem 17
  • Others 8

YouGov/Sun (5 April)

  • Con 41
  • Lab 31
  • Lib Dem 18
  • Others 10

Opinium/Express (5 April)

  • Con 39
  • Lab 29
  • Lib Dem 17
  • Others 10

Now let’s compare those results, which give an average Tory share of the vote of 39.3 per cent, with the actual share with 23 seats still to come:

  • Con 36.1
  • Lab 29.2
  • Lib Dems 22.9

Somewhere along the way, the Tories lost just over 3 per cent of the vote share, this when the party was supposed to be “sealing the deal”.

The reality is that neither the Tories nor Labour won the campaign. And, although it won’t feel like it right now to Nick Clegg and co, if anyone made progress in the past four weeks it was the Liberal Democrats.

The Lib Dems were averaging 18 per cent a month ago and, when all the votes are counted, they are likely to get around 23 per cent of the vote share. Never has such progress felt so disappointing.

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