Media polls pushing The Clegg Supremacy

For those of us who recognise this election campaign for what it is and how little its outcome will change things, the news that a BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday puts the Liberal Democrats in the lead is absolutely hilarious.  On the strength of 90 minutes of well rehearsed television, the carefully chosen questions and meticulously structured answers have seen the opinion polls sent into a frenzy of wild responses.

The media is at the heart of this as it talks up style over substance and goes through its three step coverage model that, as this blog suggested yesterday, mirrors th Bourne trilogy of films.  We are now deep into part two, The Clegg Supremacy.  Such is the desperation of many voters to get rid of Gordon Brown, and many other voters to avoid the volte face shenanigans of David Cameron, the ‘great ignored’ of the electorate are now seemingly throwing their support behind the ‘great ignored’ of the political bubble, Nick Clegg.

Despite only a fraction of those entitled to vote actually watching the Leaders’ Debate, all pollsters are seemingly finding Liberal Democrat support surging ahead.  It is often said that a country gets the government it deserves.  Well, Britain is looking likely to get just that, because so many voters are so disconnected from the political process they are telling opinion polls they would vote Lib Dem despite having no idea what exactly they would be voting for.  Consider this…

  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons say we have too much EU and they want less.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is deeper integration into the EU with more powers handed to Brussels.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want illegal immigrants prevented from entering the country and deported when discovered. The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is an amnesty allowing over 1 million illegals to remain.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want to keep the Pound and reject the Euro.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is to scrap the Pound as soon as possible and make the Euro our currency.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want less taxation.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is to reduce income tax a little and increase indirect taxation by a lot, so we all pay more to the Exchequer.

Despite these examples, voters appear to be flocking to the Lib Dems because a small sample audience and the massed media corps tell them that Nick Clegg won the Leaders’ Debate and is oh-so-different from Brown and Cameron.  You couldn’t write a sit com this funny.  If voters knew what the Lib Dems stood for, Clegg poll ratings would be sliding rather than increasing.

The crucial point this makes is that the media desperation to fill space results in the political class being able to dumb down politics, to such an extent that people can be encouraged to support parties on the basis of style and presentation instead of substance.  That’s why voters are getting behind the Lib Dems despite their small collection of policy variants being the most unpopular on offer and their tactics being the nastiest of the lot.  But as long as the media gets to fill space and has something new to write, these inconvenient facts will be airbrushed from the coverage.

Update: His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer, makes a similar point on his blog.

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2 Responses to “Media polls pushing The Clegg Supremacy”

  1. 1 Sinjun 18/04/2010 at 11:04 am

    It’s very much a case of opinion polls shaping public opinion. I think the same is true with the case of a hung parliament: only a small percentage of Britons knew what this entailed or considered it likely; yet, after 3/4 weeks of the media talking up the possibility (blogs included), this outcome looks very much like a self-fulfilling prophecy!

    Where does all of this leave us EUphobes though, I wonder? Let us hope that a seat goes to UKIP to get the ball rolling…

  2. 2 Unwise Earnie 19/04/2010 at 3:43 pm

    Call me paranoid, but what is the second best outcome for a BBC which fears a Conservative government? They are going to push Clegg because they know he will never get a clear majority but he will certainly make sure the Tories don’t get one if he is pushed hard enough.

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