This afternoon I said I was concerned that Labour’s new PEB is “trying to squeeze the Lib Dems when they’re already down to double digits in the polls. I’m not sure there’s more squeezing of their vote to be done”.
Afterwards I had an interesting conversation with a senior Labour source who explained why the party are still going to be focussing on Clegg and the Yellows. Their argument is that one third of the 2010 Lib Dem vote is still undecided (something that doesn’t properly show up in the newspaper polls) which is an “unprecedented” number of voters who were previously committed to another party now up for grabs – if they vote. They told me that politics has “shaken the kaleidescope, and we don’t know where these voters are going to fall”.
The aim – it seems – it to attack Clegg with the aim of making them fall into Labour’s column come election time.
Add to that the Lib Dems are still the third largest party in local government – meaning that if Labour want to hit local election targets on May 22nd they’ll need to take seats from the Lib Dems, and that 1/4 2010 Lib Dem voters are toying with voting UKIP, Labour strategists clearly believe that former Lib Dems are far from exhausted as a possible voter pool – they’re still very much worth pursuing.
So for those of you – like me – who wondered why a party polling single digits was still worth attacking, that’s the rationale behind it.