The latest batch of Lord Ashcroft marginals polling is out, and will bring bring great cheer to Labour and much disappointment to the Tories, who would have hoped the national polling trends would feed into the marginals.
Lord Ashcroft says
My findings this time suggest the better national news for the Conservatives is not spread evenly across the battleground. In only one of the seats, Worcester, has a Labour lead turned into a Tory one. In Croydon Central, the Labour lead has fallen from six points to four (in a seat that shows the biggest shift between the standard voting intention question and the result when people are asked to think about their own constituency and the candidates likely to stand there).
But Southampton Itchen has gone from a tie to an eight-point advantage for Labour, and in the four remaining seats Labourâ€™s lead has increased, most notably from one point to eleven points in Chester. South Swindon remains tied.
The fieldwork was quite recent, between the 26th of February and the 12th of March, in December, his polling saw a Con to Lab swing of 3.5%, now with this batch, and the batch at the start of March, 5% Con to Lab Swing looks like the norm.
As it has been for a while it would appear that Labour are doing better in the marginals, and that the prices on Labour having most seats/Ed Miliband being the Prime Minister after the election is where the value is. Amazing to think that a Labour majority was around 32 a few weeks ago on Betfair.
But as Lord Ashcroft notes and promises
Even voters in marginal seats who do not flock to LordAshcroftPolls.com for the latest data will hear about it in the local media, and those inclined to vote tactically will be better informed than ever before. For that reason, even constituency polls published close to election day may not match the final result. My research will continue throughout the campaign to monitor the situation as it evolves.
The full data tables are available here.