Constituency polling from these key LAB-CON marginals could give us the best indicators so far

August 19th, 2014

What’s happening the 2-4% range of marginals?

Thanks to Lord Ashcroft and to a lesser extent Survation we are now seeing more full constituency polling in key marginals than has ever been available before.

    This is not the old-style marginals polling where maybe 100-200 are sampled in each seat and an overall swing figure is produced. What’s being made available are full single seat polls with proper sample sizes

Lord Ashcroft has announced that a new round will be published tomorrow and the table above represents my guess of the seats that have been polled. I know of one seat for certain, Bedford, because my wife was sampled and I listened on the speaker phone as the interview took place.

So far he has had two rounds of polling in the Tory constituencies most at risk from Labour. We are told that the next round will be broader and it seems likely that he’s gone for Conservative seats with majorities in the 2% to 4% range. These are listed in the chart above.

If this latest set of snapshots has LAB set to make serious inroads them they’ll be looking good to at least winning most seats.

I’ll be looking at the levels of voter retention and, of course, the extent of CON seepage to UKIP and LD switching to LAB.

My anecdotal reading of Bedford, is that there are sufficient LD switchers to take LAB comfortably across the line. Tomorrow’s data will tell me whether this is correct.

A lot of course can happen between now and next May, most notably the Scottish referendum on September 18th followed by the party conferences. This could play havoc with the national polls which should settle down by the end of October.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble