Why Labour is cheered by the Lib Dem campaign

The Lib Dems aren’t having a good general election campaign. They have just launched their new manifesto, which is unsurprisingly dominated by a pledge to stop Brexit by revoking Article 50 on day one. But their campaign as a whole is dominated by something much less popular than a general anti-Brexit attitude: Jo Swinson.

Labour insiders are pretty happy with how things are going in terms of competition from the Lib Dems. Jo Swinson’s party overtook Labour in a YouGov poll at the start of October, whereas they are now polling at around 14%, a distant third. The Lib Dem squeeze is cheering up those at the top of the Labour Party. Voters seem to have been specifically put off by the Lib Dem decision to highlight their relatively new leader. She is less popular than her party.

The more people get to know Jo Swinson, the more her popularity – and that of the Lib Dems – dips. Back in July, opinion polls showed that the public had a neutral view of her. ‘Don’t know’ answers in response to personal approval questions about her were between 44% and 55%. Fast forward to now, and the wider public knows a lot more about Swinson: the ‘don’t know’ group stands at around 20%. But her net approval rating has dropped to -23%. It looks like the risky strategy of putting the fresh face front and centre of the Lib Dem campaign has not paid off.


Jo Swinson’s personal opinion poll ratings

Key: A – approve; D – disapprove; DK – don’t know

Date(s)

Pollster

Sample

A

D

DK

Net

14-16 Nov

Deltapoll

1,526

28%

51%

21%

–23%

13-14 Nov

Panelbase

1,021

22%

39%

13%

–17%

11-12 Nov

YouGov

1,619

24%

48%

28%

–24%

6–8 Nov

Panelbase

1,046

22%

39%

12%

–17%

6–8 Nov

Deltapoll

1,518

34%

43%

23%

–9%

31 Oct-2 Nov

Deltapoll

1,500

31%

43%

26%

–12%

30 Oct–1 Nov

Opinium

2,004

23%

39%

38%

–16%

30–31 Oct

Panelbase

1,001

23%

39%

13%

–16%

25-28 Oct

Ipsos MORI

1,007

29%

41%

30%

–12%

23-25 Oct

Opinium

2,001

22%

40%

38%

–18%

15-17 Oct

Opinium

2,001

24%

35%

41%

–11%

9–11 Oct

Panelbase

2,013

24%

34%

15%

–10%

3–4 Oct

Opinium

2,006

21%

37%

42%

–16%

25-27 Sep

Opinium

2,007

25%

37%

38%

–12%

16–17 Sep

YouGov

1,533

26%

38%

36%

–12%

13–16 Sep

Ipsos MORI

1,006

35%

40%

25%

–5%

5-7 Sep

Deltapoll

2,049

32%

33%

35%

–1%

29–31 Aug

Deltapoll

2,028

30%

35%

35%

–5%

26-27 Aug

YouGov

17%

35%

47%

–18%

21–23 Aug

Opinium

2,005

20%

31%

49%

–11%

8–9 Aug

Opinium

2,001

21%

30%

49%

–9%

26–30 Jul

Ipsos MORI

1,007

28%

28%

44%

Tie

25-27 Jul

Deltapoll

2,001

27%

26%

47%

0.01

24–26 Jul

Opinium

2,006

21%

24%

55%

–3%

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