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YouGov poll leak: it’s very close

February 7th, 2006

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    “Ming just 6% ahead”

Information has been leaked to me this afternoon about the YouGov Lib Dem members poll which has been the subject of much speculation.

My informant tells me that the survey was commissioned by a wealthy backer of Ming Campbell who is also a big donor and he told me his name.

I was given the figures of Campbell 40%: Huhne 34% and Hughes 24% on first preferences. My information is that while the Hughes second preferences would split in Huhne’s favour they do not split enough for him to win.

There is no way that I can verify the accuracy of this information but the numbers are in line with that which Guido has reported.

It will be recalled that in the only published leadership poll, which was in the Daily Telegraph on the morning of the day that Kennedy resigned, the split was: Sir Menzies Campbell 49%: Simon Hughes 21%: Mark Oaten 14%.

Clearly that was taken before the emregence of Chris Huhne and the Oaten pull-out – but today’s figures for Campbell and Hughes are very much in line with the earlier survey.

Clearly, with the ballots just arriving at the homes of members, this week is very important and the information seems to indicate why there has been a move to Huhne this afternoon on the betting markets.

The big question for punters is whether there is enough momentum behind the Huhne campaign to push him over or whether the Campbell campaign can hold on. This is a very hard call.

The importance of the the YouGov survey is has been underpinned by their success with similar polls ahead of the Tory leadership ballot which got the final result to within one per cent.


Mike Smithson






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