Nick Clegg is set to win his Sheffield Hallam seat thanks to a substantial number of Tory voters who are planning to switch to the Lib Dems to keep Labour out.
A Guardian ICM poll shows Clegg on 42 per cent compared with his Labour challenger Oliver Coppard on 35 per cent. The Conservative candidate Ian Walker is trailing on 12 per cent.
The poll suggests that 48 per cent of those surveyed who said their nationwide preference was for the Tories are going to support Clegg. Martin Boon of ICM Unlimited told the Guardian: “Some caution is needed because some of the sub-samples involved here are small, but this looks like evidence of Tory tactical voting to save Nick Clegg – and on a breathtaking scale.”
The poll is the latest to show a swing to the Lib Dem leader as we approach the final few days of the General Election. Last week, Lord Ashcroft's constituency polls showed Clegg just one point behind Coppard on 36 per cent. In Ashcroft's poll almost a third of people who voted Tory in 2010 said they will support Clegg on election day.
The Lib Dems are nationally still on course for a blood bath with City A.M.'s poll tracker showing the party scoring just eight per cent of the national vote. The party could be reduced from 57 to just fewer than 30 seats come Friday morning.
The Lib Dems, however, take heart from the fact many of their MPs have strong bases of support in their constituencies and could perform better on election night than a uniform swing on a national level would suggest.