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28 February 2012

Chart of the day: the lost Lib Dems

Which parties have 2010 Lib Dem voters defected to?

By George Eaton

Although they lost seats at the last general election, the Lib Dems’ share of the vote (23 per cent) was still their highest since the SDP-Liberal Alliance polled 25.4 per cent in 1983. But since then, as we’ve regularly reported on The Staggers, their support has more than halved. The latest YouGov poll has them on just 9 per cent.

A

Excludes “don’t knows” and “wouldn’t votes”.

So, where have more than two million of the party’s 2010 voters gone? Excluding “don’t knows” and “wouldn’t votes”, 36 per cent have defected to Labour, just two per cent less than the the number who have remained loyal. In addition, 13 per cent have transferred their allegiances to the Conservatives.The remaining 12 per cent have divided between the Greens (4 per cent), the SNP and Plaid Cymru* (4 per cent), Ukip (3 per cent) and the BNP (1 per cent).

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All of which confirms that the coalition has been a political gift for Labour. As Tim Montgomerie wrote in the Times (£) last week, “It took the Conservative Party 13 years to add 5 per cent to its share of the vote after John Major’s historic defeat in 1997. It took Labour five days.”

*YouGov does not provide individual figures for the nationalist parties.