Lib Dem surge a southern phenomenon?

As an uncomfortable election draws to a close, there’s eve of poll cheer from north of the border, where the Scots appear less inclined to choose style over substance and, if the latest poll is to be believed, are convinced by neither David Cameron nor Nick Clegg. The Tories are set to remain on the verge of extinction and if this were a Scottish Parliament election Labour would be taking seats from the SNP.

One of the many problems with the opinion polls is that their predictions assume a uniform swing from one party to another. Yet if we voted uniformly across all 650 seats, one party would win them all. The first-past-the-post system depends on wide regional and local variation. To assume a uniform swing is rather silly.

Looking deeper, there’s evidence the Tories are doing disproportionately well down south and that makes me wonder if the Lib Dem surge is a mostly southern phenomenon too.

If both these things are true, we’ll be in for a very pleasant surprise come Friday.

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