A shocker in the news here (even my normally laid back host Richard Smith reacted strongly): the normally #3 party, the Lib Dems, have now been found to be in the lead by two reputable polls.
Admittedly, it is a full three weeks before the election, and the Lib Dems’ unexpected assumption of the lead in large measure results from a strong debate performance by Nick Clegg. While the stunned Conservative and Labor leaders no doubt hope this spike in popularity will fade in the coming weeks, the Lib Dems’ policies may well prove in tune with top priority popular issues:
1. A more redistributive tax policy than either of the two major parties
2. Very tough on bank bonuses, implying they are in line are line with the Bank of England/FSA hard line on financial reform
So while the punditocracy sees a Lib-Labor coalition as the probable outcome, an outright upset by the Lib-Dems is a wild card possibility.
From the Daily Mail (hat tip bena gyerek):
A sensational set of opinion polls has sent shock waves through both Tory and Labour high commands.
Last night a survey became the second within 24 hours to put the Lib Dems ahead for the first time in 104 years.
They were on 33 per cent, with the Tories on 32 and Labour a near all-time low of 26.
On a uniform national swing, the YouGov survey for the Sun would leave Labour and the Conservatives almost equal on seats in a hung Parliament, with the Lib Dems holding the balance of power.
Senior Labour figures are now openly touting a coalition deal which would allow them to cling to power.