LibDems should win election
But people are too stuck in their ways
The Liberal Democrats should form the next government but are unlikely to, because people are unwilling to question their beliefs.
That, at least, is what a fascinating online experiment would appear to demonstrate. How2Vote.co.uk is a simple but remarkably effective Web site that aims to fit your beliefs with what the parties stand for. It contains a range of questions in eight categories ranging from education to transport to law & order.
Answer the questions honestly, or abstain if you are unsure/indifferent and after each set, the online system will judge the political party to which your beliefs most closely match their manifesto.
Surprisingly, however, out of all the people that had gone through the site, 53 per cent have agreed more with the Liberal Democrats that any other party. The Conservatives come second with 25 per cent and Labour third with 22 per cent.
Don't just think it's all Liberal voters logging on either. At the start of the quiz, you can chose which party you feel closest to or go as having no preference. In fact, 39 per cent of people who have gone through the site have put themselves as No Preference (13 per cent Tories, 22 per cent Labour, 26 per cent LibDem).
Of the people who put themselves down as Tories, 63 per cent came out true blue, but 31 per cent were LibDem. Of Labour voters, over half (51 per cent) actually ended up voting for the LibDems.
Which all goes to show a basic truth - that most people will stick with what they know rather than what they believe. Labour will win the election - even the Conservatives accept this. The interesting thing to watch is whether the LibDems can close on, or even overtake the Tories - which, this poll at least would suggest they should.
We advise everyone to give it a go.
Ironically, LibDem leader Charles Kennedy said yesterday: "The British people aren't stupid." Wishful thinking, Charles. ®