Our panel: surge in support for Nick Clegg is here to stay

THERE has been a significant increase in support for the Liberal Democrats on our panel of City workers.

The City A.M./PHI Panel, which has been specially recruited with PoliticsHome.com to represent a cross-section of London’s financial and business community, were asked if they were likely to vote Lib Dem.

Almost a third of panellists said they would possibly vote for the third party. But the majority of these say they are still unlikely to do so, reflecting national opinion polls that suggest the surge in support for Nick Clegg is soft.

Sixteen per cent said they were either “certain” or “likely” to vote for the Lib Dems, while a further sixteen per cent said it was “possible but unlikely”.

Over two thirds of panellists say they will “certainly not” vote for the third party, reflecting strong support for the Conservatives and a dislike of the Lib Dems’ “banker bashing” policies.

Almost a quarter of panellists (22 per cent) said that they were more likely to vote for the party after Nick Clegg was crowned as winner of last week’s televised leaders’ debate.

A majority of panellists (52 per cent) think that the surge in Lib Dem support is here to stay and that it could change the outcome of the general election.

But a significant minority (43 per cent) think that the Nick Clegg’s honeymoon is a “flash in the pan” that will not affect the result of the election.

Meanwhile, most panellists (56 per cent) are against Liberal Democrat plans to separate retail banking from investment banking, although there is still considerable support (41 per cent) for the policy.

But plans to publish the names of all employees earning £200,000 at British incorporated banks met with short shrift, with over three quarters of panellists (76 per cent) saying they disagreed with the policy.

A national Ipsos Mori poll found that 32 per cent of voters are planning to vote for Clegg, but half of those admit they could change their mind.