Only a few months ago all and sundry were telling us that LibDems were on course for electoral devastation on the back of polls showing the party in the mid-teens and were poised to lose up to half of their MPs.
Now, on the back of a stunningly well-recieved performance in the first leadership debate the same pollsters are telling us that the LibDems are on course to double the return.
As long as two years ago I predicted the LibDems should be aiming to continue making gains and that any increase in the number of MPs was good news. But now expectations have risen: the party is playing on a level pitch with the public and there is a perception that what Nick Clegg says is resonating - at the very least Gordon Brown agrees with Nick!
So, rather than inching forward from the 60-odd seats now held it almost looks like anything less than a three-figure haul will be considered a missed opportunity.
Oddly enough, electoral calculators continue to predict Labour as the largest parliamentary party even should they come third in the popular vote. So electoral reform is now strongly on the cards and the tories are the main obstacle to acheiving it.
It is striking that the LibDem spread of votes countrywide may mitigate against the public thinking a vote is meaningful, but with every polling point the party advances this argument diminishes and the potential tipping point is reached - while 31% or even 33% may be seen as a surmountable problem for the old duopoly 36% or 38% sees the LibDems heading towards a majority of their own!
So every vote will count extra if it is a vote for the LibDems this time round.
UKPR's excellent list of published polls.
- ► 2011 (37)
- ▼ April (6)
- ► 2009 (110)