The widespread presumption that the election is about parties is not always applicable
There is an almost total obsession that the vote on May 7th is about parties reinforced by the fact that almost all the polling asks WHICH you will be supporting rather than WHO.
In fact for many voters the primary consideration is who will be their representative at Westminster not the party brand.
This is why incumbency can be so important and the relationship that individual MPs have with their constituents can make a difference.
Nowhere will this so central than in Lib Dem defences where all could turn on the perception of the individual seeking to be returned again.
Much has been made of the Ashcroft constituency polling where a second candidate specific question is put. What could also be relevant is in the chart above which is part of the 30k sample BES polling.
This features the views of constituents split by which of the main three parties currently holds the seat. The two columns in each segment show the views of supporters of the incumbents’ party and opponents.
This is a similar picture to the YouGov polling for Nottingham University from 2013 which had net satisfaction levels that those sampled had with their local MP broken down by which party held the seat.