There’s a very striking detail in the latest polling from Lord Ashcroft. You might think that down at 8% in the 2015 general election the Lib Dems were pretty much down to the party’s core support.
But Ashcroft’s polling shows that the level of core support for the party is even worse because only one quarter of the party’s voters even in May 2015 were regular long-term loyal supporters:
And thinking about the party you voted for in the 2015 general election, which of these statements comes closest to what you did? Of those who voted Lib Dem…
I had always voted for that particular Party at a General Election – 24%
By contrast, the ‘always voted’ category for the Conservatives was 43% of their vote and for Labour it was 52% of their vote. Even the SNP, with its huge recent growth in support, had 38% of its votes come from permanent supporters.
Likewise, only 60% of those currently intending to vote Lib Dem at the next general election say they are “pretty sure” they will do this. SNP, Labour and Conservatives all come in at 80-90%.
Note: because of the huge sample – nearly 7,000 – even the crossbreak for the SNP has a reasonable standard margin of error at +/-5.5%.