When you sit down to do a marginals polls one consideration is where you draw the line: what is a marginal? The thing you want to avoid is under or overshooting the real battleground – the risk is that you poll lots of seats that need a swing of up to 5% and find a swing of 10%, enough to win lots of seats you didn’t bother polling.

That’s the sort of thing that’s happened in the third of Lord Ashcroft’s three sets of marginal polls – full details here. He polled the four most marginal LD -v- Lab seats, Norwich South, Bradford East, Brent Central and Manchester Withington. These need a swing of up to 2.1% to go from LD to Lab, which unsurprisingly Labour get easily. The average LD => Lab swing in these seats was 15%, confirming that the Lib Dems are doing much worse where they are up against Labour and easily enough to unseat almost all Lib Dem MPs with Labour in second place. In practice of course we can’t actually be that confident that voters in a tight LD-Lab marginal will behave the same way as in a seat where the Lib Dems have a 20% majority, so it’s a bit of a shame Ashcroft didn’t include some more challenging LD-Lab fights like Cambridge, Hornsey & Wood Green or Bermondsey.

An interesting thing to note is that the Greens are doing notably well in a couple of these seats. In Norwich South they are in second place on 20%, but that was one of their target seats anyway, they are also doing well in Manchester Withington, up 8 points on 10%.

While it’s hardly a LD-Lab battle, Lord Ashcroft also polled Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas’s seat. Voting intentions there with changes from the general election are CON 18%(-6), LAB 33%(+4), LDEM 5%(-9), GREEN 32%(+1), suggesting an extremely tight race between Labour and the Green party.


193 Responses to “Ashcroft polling of LD-Lab marginals”

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  1. Alec says – ‘There is something fundamentally wrong with UK football and UK footballers which renders us incapable of being adequately competitive on a global scale.’

    And if you could bottle it you would have to register it as a weapon of mass destruction.

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  2. CB11

    I think you summed it up well in five or six posts.

    Its like moaning that Arse haven’t won the Prem for a while and disregarding the fact that half a dozen seriously excellent teams are trying to do just the same.

    Three fit Arsenal players would have made a diff though – Theo, Alex and Wor Jackie.

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  3. I really think we should return to talking about something more on topic…

    Such as why the Boston Red Sox always slump in summer. My opinion is they always fail to have enough depth in the bullpen that allows other teams to give their best pitchers rest while getting new pitchers some major league experience.

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  4. “My opinion is they always fail to have enough depth in the bullpen”

    That’s utter crap.

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  5. I remember wor Jackie, R&D. Scored a great goal in the 1955 cup final.

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  6. C2802: “So if they haven’t published the wording then the question…”

    Presumably because the Holyrood VI results didn’t feature in the poll results reported by the Sunday Times (though I don’t know this because I don’t have a subscription) – which is what I think is what the code means by “entered the public domain”?

    The rule provides a cross check on reporting of headline results based on skewed questions.

    So mt guess is that the question was asked. It’s just not included in the tables.

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  7. “Median real terms household income before housing costs remained unchanged at £440 a week in 2012-13 after two years of falls. After housing costs, median incomes fell for a third consecutive year, from £377 a week to £374 a week.”

    Department of Work and Pensions

    “The large post-recession falls in incomes followed a period of slow income growth that began in the early 2000s, far pre-dating the recession” and

    . “The net result is that the official measure shows both measures of average income no higher in 2012–13 than in 2001–02.”

    Institute of Fiscal Studies

    And has continued into 2014, as far as anyone can judge.

    This is a trend that started first in the US and the UK is following the same pattern and looking at the poor ratings of our political class, voters do not think anybody has the answers, perhaps there are none.

    But living standards can’t fall forever, so in the end something has to change.

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  8. @Muddy Waters

    Thanks I was really confused.

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  9. norbold

    “I remember wor Jackie, R&D. Scored a great goal in the 1955 cup final. ”

    Ah divvent mean yor Jackie, ah mean WOR Jackie – frae the Gunnahs, bonny lad man Norbold.

    Anyway I was in Gibraltar in 1955 and they didn’t have cup finals there.

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  10. @NEWHOUSET

    I do understand that no-one can ‘actively vote for a coalition’ and, in fact, that was my point. Polling asks what electors will do and, at the same time, it is asking what they can do – i.e. vote for particular parties. What it doesn’t ask (because there’s no point I suppose) is what they would like to do – I was positing that perhaps many electors actually like the idea of coalition but no polling shows that up however, if it is true, it might explain some of the oddities in the polling.

    I’m sorry I’m so far down the thread but, despite the fact that all my students have gone, I’m still at work!

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  11. Often seems that an issue with football here has been too much suspicion of “flair” players, starting at school. And when they do make it to the national team, instead of building a team around their talents we shove them into positions where they have less chance of influencing a game…

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  12. R&D and CB11
    Had Harry been appointed as England coach we would have had Peter (on me head) Crouch as striker alongside Sturridge. In order of strike rate in international matches, Crouchy comes second after Lineker, with Rooney at the bottom of the top six strikers.

    Lineker 48 goals in 80 matches: Goals per match 0.6
    Crouch 22 goals in 42 matches: Goals per match 0..52
    Shearer 30 goals in 63 matches: Goals per match 0.48
    Charlton 49 goals in 106 matches: Goals per match 0.46
    Owen 40 goals in 89 matches: Goals per match 0.45 Rooney 39 goals in 92 matches: Goals per match 0.42

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  13. JAYBLANC

    “I really think we should return to talking about something more on topic”
    ________

    I agree epically when we are talking about the performance of the current England football team.

    Before I was shunted north of the border I played for Wokingham & Emmbrook Youth Football Club when I was 8 and was heart broken I never received a call up to play for England at this World Cup.

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  14. R&D

    “Anyway I was in Gibraltar in 1955 and they didn’t have cup finals there”
    ______

    Did someone not mistaken you for a Gibraltarian Neanderthal?

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  15. Okay back to politics.

    “An interesting thing to note is that the Greens are doing notably well in a couple of these seats. In Norwich South they are in second place on 20%, but that was one of their target seats anyway, they are also doing well in Manchester Withington, up 8 points on 10%”
    _____

    With polling like that I’m sure the other political parties will be Green with envy.. ;-)

    I can’t see them making much headway if I’m being honest.

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  16. ^ I predict Greens will win zero seats at the next election. I see them as a bit like UKIP, in that when they reach a certain level in the polls, that will bring more detail and scrutiny on many policies that frankly are incredulous.

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  17. “Did someone not mistaken you for a Gibraltarian Neanderthal?”

    Sorry Al, I can’t read such appalling grammar.

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  18. “I agree epically ”

    Allan: to be honest you can’t write grammatically, never mind epically.

    Try smaller words.

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  19. carfrew

    “Often seems that an issue with football here has been too much suspicion of “flair” players,”

    We think that that is what is holding Daisie back – that and the fact fact that she’s

    OANY WON !

    Owr Rosie can run with a full size Arsenal football in her mouth [and she’s OANY LITTUL !]

    There’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t, so again we think its suspicion of flair and innovation.

    She does suffer from the ole Suarez tendency and to be fair that probably counts against her.

    Plus she’s OANY TOO !!.

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  20. I have returned from the zoo and to my surprise this has become UK Phootball Report.

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  21. @Rich

    ^ I predict Greens will win zero seats at the next election. I see them as a bit like UKIP, in that when they reach a certain level in the polls, that will bring more detail and scrutiny on many policies that frankly are incredulous.

    Is that incredulous in a non-partisan way?

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  22. @ Mr. Nameless,

    Look at it this way: at least it hasn’t become a zoo.

    Although if more people’s pets start posting all bets are off.

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  23. Rich

    Can policies be incredulous?

    I hope you’re not taking lessons from Allan.

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  24. YouGov tonight:

    LAB 37%
    CON 35%
    UKIP 12%
    LD 8%

    Another hint that we are trending back to smaller leads after the regular four and five pointers of the past few weeks. Still, all within margin of error.

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  25. Sun Politics ?@Sun_Politics · 3 mins
    YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead back down to two points: CON 35%, LAB 37%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%

    Junker surge continues. Cameron is the new Farage!

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  26. ROSIEANDDAISIE
    Rich
    Can policies be incredulous?

    Yes, if they contradict even the most basic laws of economics. Seriously one thing that disappoints me about the greens is I can rarely find much on the environment in their policies. It’s all anti-austerity, cut bankers bonuses etc etc. Seems to me they look a bit more like a socialist workers party. Filling a Labour Party vacuum? I think so…

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  27. @R&D

    “Owr Rosie can run with a full size Arsenal football in her mouth [and she’s OANY LITTUL !]”

    Owr Jess points out that any dog can run with a football in its mouth so long as the football’s dead. And owr Jess should know ‘cos she’s on the cusp of selection for the Wolves Bitches in view of her skill at controlling footballs by killing (=puncturing) them.

    .

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  28. @Rich

    Look on the GP site and you will find literally thousands of words on the environment. I won’t insult your intelligence any further.

    You may have noticed that the GP isn’t just about the ‘environment’ – as per the old stereo type.

    Of course I know that you know that as well.

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  29. Good Evening All.
    Lansbury resigned before the 1935 GE, after Bevin’s assault on him over Mussolini.

    I wonder if anyone would do that to Ed M; this might affect the poll VI, to the benefit of Labour.

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  30. RICH

    “ROSIEANDDAISIE
    Rich
    Can policies be incredulous?”

    “Yes”

    Or, to put it another way, No – they can’t. They can be incredible or unbelievable and that may make you incredulous. But policies themselves rarely show any emotion at all.

    The buggers.

    I append a dictionary deffo for you >>>>>>>>

    “incredulous (?n?kr?dj?l?s)
    adj
    1. (often foll by of) not prepared or willing to believe (something); unbelieving
    in?credulously adv in?credulousness “

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  31. Phil

    Rose grips tight enough to hold it but gently enough not to puncture.

    She only bites if you try to nick it from her….. and even then, not the ball.

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  32. @Rich: “…that will bring more detail and scrutiny on many policies that frankly are incredulous.”

    Leaving aside the inability of a policy to be incredulous, how is it that Greens get elected elsewhere under fairer voting systems?

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  33. RogerH

    Presumably because their voters are credulous?

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  34. “Presumably because their voters are credulous?”

    Their voting system makes them more credulous?

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  35. Changing el subject, I’ve gotta new metronome.

    Its incredulous …… er….. I mean its jolly good.

    Ticks in time and everything and its loud enough so that I can hear it, which is a bit of a bonus I feel.

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  36. RogerH

    I was pursuing the vocabulary-related theme in a slightly smart-alecky way, not really making a serious comment. Sorry for injecting confusion.

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  37. MRNAMELESS

    “I have returned from the zoo and to my surprise this has become UK Phootball Report.”

    Of course it hasn’t. The salience of the England team selection to VI, which, as the intellectual you are now showing signs of becoming, you really need to recognise, is the basis of both in statistical analysis.

    If only we had an explanation of leader preference at the level of the following

    http://www.ongoalsscored.com/2011/08/07/the-peter-crouch-myth/.

    The demonstration that Crouchy’s strike rate is 0.92 per 90 minutes playing time, tells you a lot about the institutional prejudice against weirdos which persists across the whole spectrum of English public life..

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  38. @Paul

    Yes, the fact that your dog can run with the ball in its mouth is not really compelling evidence against the “flair” argument. Still, a spirited effort at trying to get the “oany won” thing to catch on though!!…

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  39. Chris Lane
    Do you really think attacking Ed M over his attitude towards Mussolini would get him to resign ? Maybe his flagrant appeasement of Napoleon would do the trick…

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  40. carfrew

    “@Paul

    the fact that your dog can run with the ball in its mouth is not really compelling evidence against the “flair” argument.”

    Can you do it?

    And I bet you’re not just two years old.

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  41. @Paul

    I can’t say I’ve ever tried it. I can see why it might interest you given the knee thing…

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  42. carfrew

    Envy is a terrible thing carfrew

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  43. @Paul

    Projection is worse.

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