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Camden News - by RICHARD OSLEY
Published: 15 October 2009
Lib Dems and Tories poll war

SQUABBLING election candidates were in a spin late last night (Wednesday) as the Conservative and Liberal Democrat challengers to Labour MP Glenda Jackson each claimed a new opinion poll put them in the lead in her constituency.
Open warfare was declared as both tried to claim victory over the results of a wide-ranging survey of marginal seats by pollsters YouGov.
Its conclusion was that the new Hampstead and Kilburn constituency was a Labour versus Liberal Democrat battleground.
But its survey of public opinion that indicated that the Conservatives would come through and win the seat.
The blue “CON gain” tab alongside the constituency in the report was a boost for candidate Chris Philp, who said: “This poll re-affirms what 30,000 voters in the Euro Elections this year and 40,000 voters in the London elections last year told us: the Conservatives are poised to win Hampstead and Kilburn.”
But Lib Dem rival Ed Fordham refused to accept the findings and said the poll showed that the Lib Dems were winning in areas where his party and Labour were facing up to each other.
And he infuriated the Tories when he said: “I can’t deny laughing out loud when I read the figures and then looked at the detail. The pollsters have placed the constituency in the list of Liberal Democrat versus Labour battlegrounds – that confirms the view that residents have locally that at the next election this will be a choice between Glenda Jackson and Ed Fordham.”
He added: “Second, when you look at the detailed question for these seats the Liberal Democrats come out ahead – as the winners.”
The New Journal has learned that the fine detail of the polling, when restricted to the constituency, indicates a Conservative lead.
Mr Fordham, however, said he was more interested in four Lib Dem by-election wins in the constituency in recent years.
He added: “The poll details are great news for local residents and for local Liberal Democrats – and the deception the pollsters have played on the Conservatives is very unfair. This is because of the very misleading claim and graphics put about by the polling company.”
But Mr Philp accused Mr Fordham himself of “misleading” the public over the figures. “Look at the report – it says it clearly: Con gain,” he said.
Chairman of the Hampstead and Kilburn Labour group Mike Katz said last night: “There’s only one poll that matters – the election. The Tories and the Lib Dems running Camden and Brent are cutting services and letting local people down.”

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