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Tory politicians usually have cause to complain about the polls that the BBC produces on election nights but the Corporation may have given David Cameron a significant symbolic (but exaggerated) victory on Thursday night.  The BBC gave Cameron’s Conservatives a projected 40% share of the vote.  Jeremy Vine’s computer analysis also put the LibDems in second place – a bonus for underperforming Ming.

In today’s Sunday Times, the local election specialists Colin Rawlings and Michael Thrasher suggest that the Tories actually fell slightly short of the magic 40% threshold and that the LibDems actually came third on 25% (1% behind Labour).  The Tories would nonetheless have achieved a "small overall Commons majority" if those percentage shares were replicated in a General Election.

Tebbit_norman_2
Writing in this morning’s Sunday Telegraph (in an article which focuses on the BNP threat) Norman Tebbit urges the Tory
leadership not to get too excited about Thursday’s performance:

"The local election results last week will hearten the
Conservatives. With 40 per cent of the vote, and the bulk of the
remainder split evenly between Labour and the Lib-Dems, things are
looking even better, and they won 320 seats or so, mostly from Labour,
but the Lib-Dems are still a threat in the Southern heartlands.  What
is more, David Cameron would be lucky if he ever fights another
election against a Prime Minister who is the object of such contempt
and mistrust, or in the wake of such a shambles of ministerial
incompetence as in the run up to Thursday’s poll.  With the Government
in such disarray, a gain of only 2 per cent from 38 per cent to 40 per
cent of the vote since these council seats were last contested in 2004,
is not a cause to uncork the champagne."

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