All to play for in the marginals?

Although Labour has had a bit of wobble in the last couple of days, over the attorney-general’s advice on Iraq, the polls seem to show the party on course for a clear victory.

I’m not sure that this is the whole story, however. Reuters quotes an expert from my old Alma Mater today, who suggests the outcome on May 5 is not as cut and dried as it seems.

"There is some evidence to suggest that Labour is not doing well in its marginals," said Paul Whiteley, professor of government at Essex University.

Labour’s problems would be compounded if, as his findings suggest, voter turnout drops from a low 59 percent in 2001, to 55 or lower this time.

"That will hit Labour because its vote is softer," he said. "The most likely outcome is a Labour majority but if turnout falls, really falls, a hung parliament is a real possibility."






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