Election expert predicts Cambridge victory

January 31, 2005 1:16 PM

A leading election expert has predicted that the Liberal Democrats could win both Cambridge and Norwich South constituencies at the general election.

The findings were published in Stansted airport's new magazine, Meaning Business, launched in December. Professor Colin Rallings, from the University of Plymouth, looked at recent general, local and European election results in the eastern region.

He concluded that if the voting pattern of last June's elections were repeated in the general election, Anne Campbell and Education Secretary Charles Clarke would both lose their seats to the Lib Dems, in Cambridge and Norwich South respectively.

National polls are also continuing to show gathering support for the party. Last week the Independent on Sunday published a study by Communicate Research, in which 37% of respondents agreed with the statement "I would vote for the Liberal Democrats if they had a realistic chance of winning in my constituency."

According to the poll almost one third of all Labour supporters, and one in five Conservatives, would vote Lib Dem if they felt the party could win the local seat. If this was repeated in every constituency the Lib Dems would win the general election by over 100 seats.

David Howarth thought both studies pointed to the same thing: "There is growing dissatisfaction with the government, and increasingly the Liberal Democrats are seen as the only viable opposition. Here in Cambridge we only need a swing of about 10%, less than half what we achieved in by-elections last year."

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