Heading in Neck and Neck

The final ICM poll this afternoon has the parties heading into election day tied on 35%. It is almost as though the Campaign we have all endured for the last 6 weeks has done nothing to really shift the numbers

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/06/general-election-2015-labour-tories-final-guardian-icm-poll

As you can see the actual numbers are 37-33 for Labour but ICM adjustments for accuracy make it 35-35. It also projects the numbers of seats will be neck and neck…but I am less convinced about applying this Universal swing to calculate seats. I think this will be an election of 200 mini by-elections!

What this poll probably does convey is that the SNP surge in Scotland may well ironically deliver a Tory government. It hasn’t been said very often so far during this election, but without the SNP surge Miliband may have not been far off a Labour majority without any deals. Given where the PArty was in 2010 on 29% of the vote and after 13 years in government this is a remarkable feat. If this is accurate too, it shows the Tories will have failed to win an election since 1992. Again for a Party that was regarded as the most effective political party in Europe and ruthless at winning elections this is remarkable too. The brand is damaged.

To react to this stalemate the Leaders have taken to their Battle Buses and are touring the key marginals. But of course they are not really touring are they? No they are dropping into some key seats where they will hold a brief rally with the party faithful, who should all be out knocking on doors – not back slapping each other. Personally whilst these are morale boosting visits for battle weary volunteers they don’t achieve a great deal. The voting public won’t even know Leader X, Y, Z is in town! Even if they did I am not sure unless they get a personal audience to be charmed by them that anything changes. When I organised Key Seat visits I did try to get genuine undecided voters along. As I have said before – even when Brown visited in 2010 it was a wide audience of students and staff not a pre-picked audience. The students I spoke to afterwards were all charmed by meeting the PM – even if it was Gordon Brown!

More later….. as I close the blog for the Campaign and open up the Election Day and Election result service!

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