Letter: A tactical vote is a negative vote

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The Independent Online
Sir: You are correct to remind us that "It's not over yet" in your lead report of 21 April, But your focus group survey does not "confound the polls" - it bears out their figures with almost uncanny accuracy.

A close examination of the voting preferences expressed by the 30 people interviewed reveals that of the 24 who said they voted Tory last time, only 13 have definitely decided to do so again, five are undecided and six have switched to other parties. Thus, even if all five "undecideds" return to the Tory fold, the party will still have lost a quarter (six out of 24) of its former supporters. This is precisely in line with recent opinion polls, which show the Tories down from their 42 per cent share of the vote in 1992 to about 31 per cent now - a fall of one quarter.

NICK CATTERMOLE

London SW16

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