The latest polling for Lord Ashcroft, looking at the big political spaces there are for potential new parties or existing ones to grow, repeats the picture found by other recent research into new parties.
There is plenty of appetite for something new in the Lib Dem space, whether that is a rejuvenated Liberal Democrats or a new party. But there is also as big, if not bigger, an appetite for something new in the Ukip space.
For the Liberal Democrats specifically, his findings repeat two constant themes of my writing:
- The Liberal Democrats start with a handicap from having a much smaller core vote than their main rivals, and
- The idea that the Lib Dem problem is a legacy of hostility from the coalition years is a myth – it is only a small proportion of the electorate who hate the party, and that proportion isn’t even large when compared to those who hate other parties.
More specifically in this case, Ashcroft found: