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Could a good Dunfermline showing be Ming’s salvation?

February 7th, 2006
    Populus poll boost for Lib Dems on eve of by-election

With just a day to go before the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election the betting markets seem to think that the Lib Dems, in spite of all the recent troubles, look set to beat the SNP and hold onto their second place of last May.

Using “advanced Lib Dem bar chart technology” and a guest appearance by Charles Kennedy the party seems to have had a good campaign.

There was a buzz amongst their workers after the first postal votes were opened yesterday and some heady souls were even putting their money on a win.

Latest prices have them at 7/1 with the SNP easing back to 29/1.

The Lib Dems will be boosted by the February Populus poll in the Times showing the GB shares as CON 37%(+1) LAB 36%(-3) LD 18% (+2). This is the first time that the Times’ pollster has had the Tories ahead since the leadership changes.

Since the awful week of Simon Hughes and Mark Oaten things have been a lot more stable and clearly the public has other things to focus on.

    Dunfermline and West Fife comes at a critical time in the party’s leadership election, especially for the acting leader, Ming Campbell. He is a local Fife MP and a poor showing on his doorstep could have undermined his campaign.

A poor result for Labour tomorrow would not be welcome by Gordon Brown – who is just starting his tour of the country as “Prime Minister to be”. He has already run into trouble by making pronouncements on the Forth Bridge toll increase – which as his party colleagues in the Scottish Parliament have reminded him have nothing to do with Westminster.

Mike Smithson






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