Nick Clegg and two other Liberal Democrats could lose their seats in the UK general election, a new poll has suggested. The Liberal Democrat leader is two points behind Labour in Sheffield Hallam, a constituency poll by Michael Ashcroft, the former Tory donor, found.
However, Mr Clegg insisted the Ashcroft poll was unreliable because it prompted voters by party rather than candidate name. Internal Liberal Democrat polling has found Mr Clegg is ahead in the South Yorkshire seat, and that nationwide they get an average nine-point boost when polls ask about specific candidates.
The poll of seven Liberal Democrat marginal seats found the party on course to lose North Devon and St Austell & Newquay to the Tories by a margin of seven and six points respectively. The party is on track to retain Cambridge, Torbay, St Ives and North Cornwall, the poll said. Mr Clegg said: "I'm going to win. The poll didn't even mention the candidate's name, and our own polling shows where it does it always shows an uplift in our support. If you look at the way people have voted rather than what they've said to Lord Ashcroft, since 2010 Sheffield has consistently voted for the Lib Dems."
Mr Ashcroft said the polling was "uncomfortable" for Mr Clegg, but said he had a high contact rate, with more than three-quarters of voters saying they had had a leaflet or phone call from their MP. (©Daily Telegraph, London)