Saturday, 4 October 2008

Edinburgh South, a letter, and the polls

It is unusual for this blog to major on opinion polls - but a letter received by some voters in Edinburgh South from the Lib Dem Westminster candidate has led me to some interesting discoveries. So what are the current indicators here in Edinburgh South for the general election when Gordon Brown calls it?

First the results last time. The table at the foot of this post (from Electoral Calculus) shows Labour won last time with a margin of 405 over the Lib Dems and 3897 ahead of the Conservatives. But look to the column on the right for its calculation for a Westminster election now based on opinion polls and other factors. It shows the Lib Dems in fourth place - even behind the Nationalists. A month or two back it showed the Conservatives winning the seat. What happens if, rather than national polling, a poll is taken within specific groups of marginals? That is what Politics Home has done. Look here to find the results for Edinburgh South. It shows Edinburgh South falling to the Conservatives. Now we don't know what the result will be at the next Westminster election. But this data does give the lie to the claim in the Lib Dem letter look : 'The Conservatives cannot win in Edinburgh South, they are just too far behind.' Part of the challenge for the Lib Dems is that they have a smaller base now compared to 2005. For example, then they had three of the four councillors in the equivalent of the Southside & Newington ward. Now they have just one! Here is the chart referred to above:
Edinburgh South

2005 Votes2005 SharePrediction

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