Nick Clegg is set to save his seat in this General Election, thanks to Tory voters largely supporting the Liberal Democrats to ensure a non-Labour government, a new poll has revealed.
The results of The Guardian and ICM poll found that 48% of the people who have so far backed the Conservative party are instead planning to vote in favour of the Lib Dems and their current leader.
This type of voting has been deemed a broad, tactical approach to voting from Tory followers throughout the South Yorkshire constituency of Sheffield Hallam – the place where the Deputy Prime Minister is currently at risk of losing both his seat here, and leadership of the Liberal Democrat party.
Martin Boon from ICM Unlimited said: “Some caution is needed because some of the sub-samples involved here are small, but this looks like evidence of Tory tactical voting to save Nick Clegg – and on a breathtaking scale.”
As a result of the poll Clegg is now holding comfortable seven-point lead over his main rival, Oliver Coppard of Labour, who is currently on 35%. Ian Walker, the constituency’s candidate for the Conservatives, is trailing with just 12% of the vote.
Further research has confirmed that Nick Clegg’s name is significant to his success in this election, with his performance strengthening when voters where given the names of the specific candidates. Previous polls lacking the names of candidates found Labour leading in the race for the seat by 34% to 32%.
Despite this new, promising information, the Lib Dem party are choosing to focus on Thursday’s poll.
A spokesman for the party stated: “The only poll that matters is on Thursday. Nick has always maintained that he is confident but not complacent about the contest.
“But this poll underlines what we have long said: that when faced with the actual choice on the ballot paper, between Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband’s Labour candidate, the people of Sheffield Hallam back Nick Clegg’s record of delivering for south-west Sheffield, an area neglected for decades by Labour.”
ICM Unlimited interviewed a random sample of 501 adults by phone from May 1 to 3, with the results counted and verified.