Polls open in the

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Polls open in the UK in a couple of hours, but at the end of the last day of campaigning, a friend in the Labour boiler room sent me their compendium of all the latest public polls. They averaged the numbers from all the public polls conducted over the last three days, and came up with: Labour at 37.2 percent, Conservatives at 32.5, and Lib Dems at 22.8. Compared to 2001 totals, it appears that the Tory base has come home, and Labour has bled a little –- about 4 percentage points –- to the Lib Dems. Of course, what matters is what happens in the “marginals” or swing seats where the campaign has really been fought. Nonetheless, Brits obsess over the “swing” and use the swing in the overall vote total to figure out who will win what in Parliament.

Going to the BBC’s handy seat calculator — which is almost as cool as its “swingometer,” which I assure you has nothing to do with Austin Powers — we find that these numbers would result in a Labour majority of 118 seats, and Tony Blair would rest easy. But to stress again, it’s not how many runs your score, it’s how many games you win (Exhibit A: Gore 2000). This fight tomorrow will be a ground war fought in marginals all across Britain. It’s a turnout game now.

One of those guys slogging it out in the marginals is Steve Morgan. I have to give him and the folks at Morgan Allen Moore a million thanks for their invaluable election night guide. Democratic politicos know Steve as the guy who handles the foreign press at any major Democratic event -– New Hampshire primary night, the Convention, etc. At home, he’s the Michael Whouley of British politics (so much so, that their companies merged), the foremost Welsh expert on American football, and as of last week, the father of Cai. Congratulations, Steve.

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