by George Trefgarne
"There are, in my view, five reasons to be cautious about a total rout.
The first is the localised nature of our Parliamentary system. It is all very well citing the Tories’ 25 per cent poll lead, but the ultimate result will depend on where those votes are. Many of them will be piled up, somewhat uselessly, in existing Tory safe seats or in ultra-safe Labour or SNP ones.
By contrast, there are many seats, especially in the West country, in university and spa towns, which were held by the Lib Dems only two years ago and might not be so safe. The polls suggest that a Lib Dem recovery is underway, membership is rocketing, and a leaked memo from the Tory guru Lynton Crosby only three weeks ago suggested the Lib Dems could take 27 seats from the Conservatives.
In addition to which, the use of new technology, such as social media, hyper-localised digital advertising, targeted polling and individually customised mail shots actually mean local factors are more important in General Elections than they used to be. Just look at the rise and fall of figures such as Zac Goldsmith and Douglas Carswell, both of whom relied heavily on social media in their campaigns."