Having made my way back from conference I’ve finally had a chance to look properly at Lord Ashcroft’s latest batch of marginal seat polling, this time looking mostly at Liberal Democrat seats – both the LD-v-Con battleground and the LD-v-Lab battleground. Full details are here.

Eleven of the LD-v-Con seats polled were the same as in the last round of Ashcroft polling. The picture in these seats is largely the same as it was then – a modest swing from Lib Dem to Con (2.9% average then, 2.5% average now), but significant variation. Then as now, the Lib Dems were doing much better in Sutton & Cheam and Eastleigh (both of which they’d hold), much worse in Chippenham and Somerton & Frome (both of which they’d lose). This round Lord Ashcroft also added four more LD-v-Con seats with slightly larger majorities. His polling found the Conservatives ahead in Berwick and in Taunton, neck-and-neck in Torbay but a hefty swing towards the Liberal Democrats in Eastborne. There is no obvious pattern to where the Lib Dems are doing better or worse in the LD/Con battleground. The Lib Dems are doing extremely well in Eastbourne where they have first term incumbent Stephen Lloyd, but they are also doing extremely well in Sutton and Cheam where Paul Burstow has been MP since 1997. They are doing extremely badly in Somerton & Frome where David Heath is standing down, but they are also doing extremely badly in Chippenham where Duncan Hames is a first time incumbent.

Ashcroft also polled five Lib Dem seats with Labour in second place. His previous polling of Lib-v-Lab seats was a little disappointing – he polled the four most marginal LD-v-Lab seats, all of which fell to Labour easily on huge swings. The more interesting question is what is happening in LD-v-Lab seats that have much bigger majorities, are the Lib Dems going to be wiped out there? In this round of polling Lord Ashcroft looked at some of those “safer” Lib Dem seats – Cambridge, Cardiff Central, Hornsey & Wood Green, Redcar and Bermondsey & Old Southwark. Four of these would need swings of 6-7 points to fall to the Labour, and Ashcroft shows them getting it relatively easily, the average swing across the five seats is twice that. The only LD-v-Lab seat where Ashcroft found the Lib Dems ahead was Bermondsey & Old Southwark – and there by only a single point.

Meanwhile the latest voting intention polls from the four companies who’ve polled so far this week are below:

Ashcroft – CON 32%(+5), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 17%(nc), GRN 4%(-2)
Populus – CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
ComRes/Indy – CON 29%(+1), LAB 35%(nc), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 15%(-2)
YouGov/Sun – CON 31%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%

338 Responses to “Ashcroft poll of Lib Dem marginals”

1 4 5 6 7
  1. Grant Shapps on DP claimed the measure would take people on minimum wage out of tax while the PM clearly said if they worked 30 hours which is right given the maths and assuming 2%ish.

    So the party Chair(man) does not even undertand the policy.

    Unravelling already started perhaps

  2. Just a few bets Guy affecting the odds.
    A couple of big money ones on Reckless to win would change that

  3. @Peter Crawford

    We did the Oscar Wilde thing to death when Reckless defected. Best version was “To lose one MP is Carless, to lose two Reckless” but I can’t remember who said it.

    I think you’re right though, Cameron hasn’t been very succesful at managing the party. The story goes that though he succesfully projects to the public that he is warm and interested, he doesn’t do the same for MPs.

    Miliband seems to be the opposite.

  4. Valerie:

    “The pups
    Woof woof! ”

    Bit cheeky.

  5. I also agree with the notion that EdM is a much better political strategist and calculator than DC;…he also seems to know and like his political base- unions, welfare dependents, public sector- a lot more than Cameron… DC’s speech this week was probably the first in four years that really fired up his base, whereas EdM does it the whole time. He was just very flat last week.

  6. @Roykite

    Regarding that list, the Lab / Con seats will be all but impossible to gain, if UKIP are taking from Con more than Lab in said seats.

    In the Lib / Con ones, I would guess at Con gains, without too much of a problem.

  7. The Sun apparently has a Survation poll on Heywood & Middleton due out at 10pm.

    Wonder why they used Survation instead of yoygov. Cheaper maybe or is it Survation that frequently returns higher Ukip figures than the others ?

  8. Anyone know anything about dental implantology clinics in Budapest?

    Are there any opinion polls on them?

    [Desperate attempt to link topic to site……]

  9. @Newhouset

    “There is a price to be paid for supporting UKIP in 2015 but you’d be mistaken to believe that those thinking of doing so haven’t thought the whole thing through. They are just as capable of doing so as you or me.”

    I tend to agree with you on this. Sure, some of those currently saying that they would vote UKIP if there was a general election tomorrow will not do so in May next year, voting for one of the other parties, or abstaining instead, but I sense something different about this gradually swelling UKIP tide. I think that their voters are like their activists, insurgents hell bent on cocking a snoop at mainstream politics. In other words, a core vote in tune with the party, enthused by the message and mission and not just indulging in trivial and transitory protest. Less whim, more belief, I think. There’s the makings of a genuine political party in there somewhere.

    That’s why I think they will be a very influential player at the next election, especially if Farage has two new MPs by his side by then; the Carless and Reckless Glimmer Twins!


  10. @Guy Monde
    The second defection, is unlikely to lead to a lost Tory seat. The first in my view is a lost cause for the Tories and Clacton will go UKIP.

  11. @Guy Monde
    The second defection, is unlikely to lead to a lost Tory seat. The first in my view is a lost cause for the Tories and Clacton will go UKIP.

  12. Pups
    My brother has just returned from Bulgaria – Sofia with a new set of gnashers. Had the lot done. Made three trips over 10 months. Very pleased with result and cost.

  13. @ Paul,

    Go to your GP both before & after treatment. I’ve been told that antibiotics are needed to ensure there is no pre or post treatment infections. The consequences of not having pre & post treatment care often doesn’t show up for some time after the treatment so be wary of recent patient recommendations – they may not know what’s in store for them further down the line if they didn’t get the necessary care or didn’t follow the care instructions properly (e.g. didn’t start &/or complete their courses of antibiotics at the proper times).

  14. Stageek
    I Think you are right, I cannot in any way see a Tory victory whilst the UKIP percentage vote remains above 12%. Either way thier vote will influence the GE greatly

  15. Statgeek and Roykite

    Regarding the LD /Con seats mentioned by Roy, one has to judge how many of each ‘main’ party’s votes go to UKIP or Green. If some Labour voters, for instance, used to seeing their candidate come a very poor third, go either UKIP (if they have something against immigrants) or Green (if they are lefty environmental), those movements would be neutral to the main contest, even if Red LDs go to Labour as a protest. LD are not likely to lose all Red LD voters, if those voters are ABT voters and conscious to boot about wasted votes in that constituency. Finally, how many previous Con voters with UKIP views will make their protest or will they think ‘here is a chance to unseat the LD member’. I suspect that the Con candidate will have to play his cards very cleverly and runs the danger of upsetting his present support (and the present LD voters he needs) if he is too Farage-ish.

    Thus, a huge amount of churn in such constituencies is possible, depending on the candidate. Many voters in Taunton Deane may react very differently to the Orange booker Jeremy Browne’s record, as an example.

  16. I wonder whether the welfare cuts and higher rate tax cuts together are going to rebound on the Tories?

    Welfare cuts when things are getting better supposedly? Tax cuts for the rich?

    I think not. Will be interesting to see which way those polls go. I still maintain at the heart of that omnishambles budget poll slump was the higher rate tax cut.

    We shall see.

  17. What would be interesting is if Anthony gave us some idea of how loyal party supporters actually are.

    YouGov must know not just the Party affiliations of it’s panel, but also how strong those connections are. Peter Kelner talked about this during the referendum with regards to Labour and the SNP.

    In theory we should be able to tell where the floating voters are and where they are likely to float off too in each region. It’s unlikely to be down to Constituency level but Iam sure Athony could do a Pie Chart or Ven Diagram for Scotland or London with the main Party core percentages and the soft zones betweenthem.


  18. Howard
    A good point, however like many you seem to think that UKIPers are against immigrants in your post, Most I know are not against immigrants they are against unfettered immigration which they see as do I as unsustainable. we need Quality not quantity in immigration, that is the UKIP position.

  19. A good set of panel questions to ask would be:

    1) Do you consider yourself a supporter of a particular political party?
    2) Do you ever put up a poster or sign for your party’s candidates?
    3) Do you ever deliver leaflets for your party?
    4) Do you ever knock on doors or telephone canvass on behalf of your party?
    5) Have you ever stood for election for your party?
    6) How often have you voted for a candidate of another party?

    “The pups
    Woof woof! ”
    Bit cheeky

    My brother has just returned from Bulgaria – Sofia with a new set of gnashers. Had the lot done. Made three trips over 10 months. Very pleased with result and cost

    Anthony Wells…

    I know you had a busy few days at the Tory party conference with your colouring in pencils and felt tip pens but can you please bring back some order here please?

    I mean….”pups woof woof” & “My brother has just returned from Bulgaria – Sofia with a new set of gnashers”……what is this?

    Are we polling for Crufts and discussing Eastern European dental practices and the methodology of Bulgarian gnashers vs that of the UKIP VI?

    Some order please.

  21. Dear lovely ladies.

    Ta for advice.

    A good point, however like many you seem to think that UKIPers are against immigrants in your post, Most I know are not against immigrants they are against unfettered immigration which they see as do I as unsustainable. we need Quality not quantity in immigration, that is the UKIP position.

    That maybe true but it’s not what you say but how you say it.

  23. Panelbase Scotland (Westminster):

    SNP: 34%
    Labour: 32%
    Conservative: 18%
    Liberal Democrat: 5%
    UKIP: 6%
    Other: 5%

    Would make great waves if this is how it works out on the day.

  24. Paul
    I’ll keep you updated with how my brother fares.

    And back to the polls…
    I see the currant bun has devoted pages to lauding Cammo’s speech. It will be
    Interesting to see how much this love-in influences VI. Not a lot methinks.


    I punched the poll figures into the Scotland votes website (had to put the Lib/Dems on 6% in order for the site to predict) and gave the following seats.



    Libs 4

    Tory 3

  26. @ Peter Cairns

    In theory we should be able to tell where the floating voters are and where they are likely to float off to in each region. It’s unlikely to be down to Constituency level but I am sure Anthony could do a Pie Chart or Ven Diagram for Scotland or London with the main Party core percentages and the soft zones between them.
    LOL! YG struggled to locate adequate samples of voters who are Labour for GE but SNP for Holyrood; thinking that Anthony could determine how ‘loyal’ voters are to particular parties is over-reaching a tad.

  27. I wonder whether the 2010 general election result will be as infamous with Tory voters (for failing to get a majority with everything in their favour) as 1992 was to Lab?

    Will another defeat cause implosion?

  28. That Panelbase is not too bad a poll for Labour in Scotland. Are the tables up yet?

  29. AMBER

    Panelbase poll: SNP Westminster and Holyrood lead
    Thu, 02/10/2014 – 14:43
    The poll details are as follows:


    * If a Scottish Parliamentary election was held tomorrow, who would you vote for with your constituency vote?
    SNP: 42%
    Labour: 27%
    Conservative: 15%
    Liberal Democrat: 5%
    UKIP: 5%
    Other: 5%

    * And who would you vote for with your regional vote?
    SNP: 37%
    Labour: 27%
    Conservative: 16%
    Liberal Democrat: 5%
    Greens: 9%
    UKIP: 4%
    Other: 1%


    I would say it’s poor for Labour!!

  30. Just working it out on the Scotland votes website…..The SNP would have to poll 6% above Labour just to get an equal share of seats.

    It’s little wonder Labour are quite contempt sitting on 35% in the national polls knowing a low poll rating can still catapult them into power.

  31. Valerie

    Thanks [just checked and there are quite a few in Sofia so a specific recommendation would be molto appreciado**

    [** am already practising my forrun.]

  32. @ Allan Christie

    Panelbase methods are a tad opaque.

    They appear to have asked the Holyrood questions first i.e. primed the pump, given the SNP have always done better at Holyrood than Westminster.

    Then they seem to have excluded 189 people from the Westminster poll as the base sample is only 840 compared to 1029 for the Holyrood questions. I wonder, did they exclude all the people who didn’t give an SP VI from answering the Westminster VI question?

    I’m not saying Panelbase gets the wrong answer – though I do think their method is not ideal.

  33. If I was a Labour supporter I’d be tempted to vote for UKIP in the Rochester by-election.

  34. @statgeek October 1st, 2014 at 11:08 pm
    “If Labour is up 2% and no other party nationally is down…is the 2% coming from ‘Others’?”


    Pretty clear, it is coming from Plaid/SNP, which dropped 2% on that poll (and perhaps part from the other ‘others’, that dropped from ‘1%’ to ‘0%’)

    Amber: if any came from the Greens, it wasn’t enough to cause a drop in published VI – it was 5% in both polls.

  35. What happened to the Thursday Populus? Has it gone the way of the Sheffield Wednesday?

  36. @ Bramley,

    YouGov never do constituency polls, as far as I know. They’re online-only and their panel probably isn’t big enough to contain a decent sample size from every constituency; I doubt they could do one even if they wanted to.

    @ Amber,

    That would be very odd of them, considering the relative turnout for Westminster and Scottish Parliament elections. They know a lot more people vote for Westminster and that people vote differently in the two elections- surely one’s baseline assumption would be that the two electorates behave differently?

  37. @ RAF,

    It’s gone the way of all polls that always come out on Friday. ;)

  38. @Spearmint

    That’s not good enough. I was expecting it to be released today. I thought the consumer was king?

  39. Whoever said:;

    It’s quality wot we want in immigration not quantity

    Is it though? @Colin drew our attention to a CIPD report on previously unpublished ONS figures in http://www.cipd.co.uk/pressoffice/press-releases/cipd-migration-300914.apx but did not make the most relevant point, that the quality of immigrant labour may pose a risk of competition with first time UK entrants to the labour market and the cost of their unemployment or of overcoming their relatively lower skills. To quote:

    • More than two in three (69%) EU8* migrants work in low- to lower middle-skilled roles compared with more than four in ten (45%) UK-born workers and one in three (34%) EU14* migrants.
    • In contrast, four in ten (39%) EU14 migrants are employed in highly skilled roles compared with a quarter (27%) of UK-born workers and less than one in ten (10%) EU8 migrants.
    • Nearly 90% of EU 8 migrant workers are aged 25 or over which means that they are likely to have significant work experience
    • EU8 migrants that take up low-skilled work are also typically well qualified; almost 60% of EU8 migrant workers in low-skilled work are graduates, compared with around 20% of UK-born workers and EU14 graduates and almost 30% of non-EU migrants.
    * EU8 refers to the 2004 accession countries – who joined the EU in 2004 (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia), but not including Romania and Bulgaria, who joined in 2007 (EU2). EU14 refers to countries who joined the EU prior to 2004.

  40. @ Maura,

    I haven’t seen anyone criticising Harry Smith for politicising his sister’s death at the Labour Conference.

    Which is only right, because people’s lives are political. People’s deaths are political. Marion Smith died at the age of ten because of political choices people made. David Cameron had support in caring for a profoundly disabled child because of political choices people made. If that influenced how he thinks about the NHS, then his son’s life and death were political long before he started mentioning him in conference speeches.

    People deal with personal tragedies in different ways, but the question of how public to be about their loss is one for Cameron and his wife. If Samantha Cameron doesn’t mind him weaponising their dead child I don’t see what business it is of ours.

    We can’t have a rule where one side is allowed to deploy their dead kids to prove their devotion to beloved national institutions but it’s in bad taste when the other side does it.

  41. I would imagine Pressman must be on tenterhooks.An almost universal paean
    of praise in the right wing press for the hero of the hour.Will the polls reflect it
    and the power of the press?We shall see.It has not had the same rapturous
    reception on Twitter,but older people do not use this form of communication.

  42. Chou,
    All parents(well most) want the best for their children.Perhaps we will leave it
    at that or we might have a row and disturb the serenity of this most civilised of

  43. That Panelbase poll for Scottish Westminster VI must be a bit encouraging for Lab, given the dire predictions from some of the YG crossbreaks. Of course it’s poor, overall, but they still have a healthy lead over the SNP in terms of seats if the predictions are correct.

  44. @Ann in Wales
    Well lets hope not, we don’t want any of that diatribe being popular do we.

  45. Ann in Wales
    Yes, however Mr and Mrs Cameron snr, did not have that option with their boy Dave, according to a large faction, once he grew up.

  46. Spearmint

    Of course we have to be consistent on this and you have no reason to suppose that I’m not. I didn’t see Harry Smith’s speech so didn’t comment on it (or even think about it to be honest). All I said was that in Cameron’s speech, which I did see, I found the way he used his son’s death distasteful. There are specific reasons which may not apply to Smith or to others -Tory or otherwise – who use personal experience: he is PM; seems to be using it to justify a policy/insulate himself against criticism; he has used it a lot. Taken together it changes the argument but basically I found it distasteful -and you didn’t!

  47. John Pilgrim

    Yes we do only need very limited highly skilled immigration and here is why. We have at present 1.2 million on the social housing list, we have schools where there are classes of up to 70 pupils, we have classes where English is the first languge of only a minority, Our NHS is in a state of collaps. However we are importing 250000 immigrants ( not including illegals) net per year which is eqivelant to a city the size of Southampton. No-one can tell me tha this is sustainable. Neither is it racist it is realist

  48. @ Allan Christie & others

    The Panelbase poll data for Scottish Westminster seats gives a slightly more favourable result for the SNP using the Electoral Calculus website: Lab 29, SNP 25, Con 3, LD 2. I suspect this is close to the tipping point for even greater SNP gains.

    However, May 2015 is more than 6 months away, so the actual result may be very different, and depends on whether those vows given before the Indyref to sway wavering voters are properly delivered in a timely manner. If they are, then EV4EL will mean that Scottish MPs will not be voting on many issues in the HoC; if not, the SNP contingent of MPs is likely to be larger and won’t be voting on these issues on principle.

    There is a real danger of an unworkable HoC if neither Con (unlikely) nor Lab wins an OM in 2015. If Scotland had voted YES, the changes would have been sorted within 18 months. I now expect the Scottish issue to fester for some years to come.

  49. Did someone say there was a local poll due out at 22.00? By election?

  50. @DAODAO: “If they are, then EV4EL will mean that Scottish MPs will not be voting on many issues in the HoC;”

    No, it won’t. There won’t be EV4EL before the GE under any circumstances; even after May it will require a Tory majority government to introduce it.

1 4 5 6 7