Will Ashcroft’s new poll make uncomfortable reading?
There’s another one of Michael Ashcroft’s massive polls out this morning which involved an overall sample of more than 13,000 in 41 marginal seats. They were all contacted by telephone – I assume by Populus the firm that has done much of Ashcroft’s research.
Eight of the seats are Tory-held seats with the LDs in second place. The rest are Tory seats with Labour in second place.
The key numbers are in the tables reproduced above and the message is not very promising for the Tories, quite encouraging for Labour and even more so, in the circumstances, for the Lib Dems.
On voting intention two questions were asked – a standard national one and a second which sought to get respondees’ views on what they would do in their own constituencies.
The figure that stands out is the uplift from 18% to 31% in the Lib Dem share in CON-LD marginals when the constituency point was pressed. More than half the increase comes from Labour voters who, seemingly, are ready to switch to stop the Tories.
The third table points to a possible explanation. Even this far out from the general election Lib Dem activists appear to be working harder in the seats that matter to them.
The Tories might also be disappointed by their party’s polling in the CON-LAB marginals where Labour have a nine point lead. Given that these are all currently Tory held then that sets out the scale of the challenge for Cameron and his team.
The next election, of course, is likely to be fought in fewer seats and new boundaries – a factor that looks like helping the blues most. It also takes place in three and a half years time and the world could look very different then.