I’ve spent the last two days updating the candidates on the constituency pages (now all done apart from Northern Ireland – my greatful thanks to Blake Reynolds, David North and Matthew Israel for helping me collate all the data). In the meantime I seem to have missed MORI’s latest marginals poll for Reuters, which came out yesterday.
This is a regular poll for the election campaign, polling the same group of 57 Lab vs Con marginal seats where the Conservatives need a swing of between 5% and 9%. In other words, these are not the narrowest marginals, they are comparatively distant marginals, the ones that would make the difference between the Conservatives being the largest party in a hung Parliament, and the Conservatives having a decent majority. To get a majority of 1, the Conservatives would need to take about half these seats, and be roughly equal with Labour in support (previous rounds of MORI’s marginal polling are here and here.
The latest voting intention figures here are CON 32%(-6), LAB 36%(-5), LDEM 23%(+12). The swing in these seats is now 5%. In comparison, Ipsos MORI’s monthly GB poll had a swing from Labour to the Conservatives of 3.5%, so even beneath the Lib Dem surge, the Conservatives still seem to be performing slightly better in their Labour held target seats.
The increase in the Liberal Democrat vote seems to be much in line with the size of their boost in the country as a whole. Remember that this a sample of Con -v- Lab marginals, so most will be no-hoper seats for the Liberal Democrats – that they are advancing here is the first evidence that the Lib Dem surge is pretty uniform in terms of the political make up of seats.
Another interesting finding is that the number of people saying they would vote Labour and Conservative has not fallen. Rather, there has been a jump in Lib Dem support amongst those previously unlikely to vote (who MORI wouldn’t normally count) and don’t knows. It’ll be worth looking at some GB surveys to see if that is a wider pattern.
The proportion of people who thought they lived in a marginal seat seems pretty much unchanged – 30% think they do, 30% that they don’t and 40% don’t know. There is no sign of the impending election making people more aware of the nature of their seat. 12% of people said they were voting tactically, but this included 13% of Lib Dem supporters who said they were voting tactically… considering these are Con-Lab marginals, it suggests either a lack of awareness of the particular local circumstances, a lack of awareness of exactly what tactical voting is, or that these people had given their first preference as their voting intention, rather than the party they would vote tactically for.