Lord Ashcroft put another batch of marginal seat polls out earlier on today. He is gradually moving on up the Lab-v-Con target list, and today’s batch of seats covered the twelve Con-v-Lab marginals with majorities between 4.8% and 7.1%. These are seats that would fall to Labour if they were about equal with the Tories in the national polls, so given the variation between the swing in different constituencies we are getting to the point were we should start seeing some seats with the Tories ahead, and indeed we do – Ashcroft found the Conservatives ahead in three seats (Blackpool North, Kingswood and Loughborough).

The average swing across the twelve seats polled was 4.5% from Con to Lab – the equivalent of a two point Labour lead in the national polls. The average Labour lead in the national polls at the time the fieldwork was done was also two points, so once again the Ashcroft polling is suggesting that in Con-v-Lab marginals the swing is very much in line with national polling.

At an individual constituency level there is more variation. The lowest swings in this batch of seats were the three Tory holds mentioned earlier, which had swings of only 1.5% and 2% from Con to Lab. The biggest swings were in Erewash, Bury North, Cannock Chase, Keighley and Croydon Central, with swings between 6% and 7%. Two of those seats are ones where the first time Conservative incumbent is standing down, another is in London, where local and European elections suggest Labour are doing particularly well.

Full details of the Ashcroft polls are all on his site here.


459 Responses to “Latest Ashcroft marginal polling”

1 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Just been looking at rolling averages (mean, to be be precise). After rises over the last week, Greens’ polling has now reached exactly 6% on rolling mean of last 10 polls for the first time (6.2% of last 5, btw). The collapse of the LDs hasn’t yet got their rolling mean below the Greens (the occasions when Greens have polled higher than LDs have each followed another poll showing the opposite, but to a larger degree). I have a feeling it’s just a matter of time…

  2. RAF

    I’m not sure that EC can cope with Con on 27% and UKIP on 24%, though if Labour come through the middle in hordes of English seats …….

  3. Cons only 3 points ahead of Ukip yet apparently, everything is ‘bad news for Ed Miliband’ ™

    Struth !

  4. @OldNat

    “Mirror crowing that this makes fine for Ed. They may have missed the point of what seems to have happened in this poll.”

    LOL!

    They sort of have a point though. On those numbers Lab would probably win a majority, albeit by default.

  5. RAF

    Didn’t Anthony say that Survation tends to overpoll minor parties?

    Maybe they have the Tories too high. :-)

  6. @STATGEEK

    “Totally scunnered with these 10.30pm polls. I liked the 10pm ones, then I could disappear off and do something else.”

    ——-

    On the bright side, it gives you an extra half-hour to help us all out by catching up on some posts!!…

  7. Do Survation prompt for UKIP ?

  8. “lets change the narrative – talk from the heart – how will you unite this divided country, stop us finding scapegoats – bankers, immigrants, the rich, etc…”

    ———–

    Aww, can’t we keep the bankers a little while longer? Not done with them yet…

  9. @OLDNAT

    “Didn’t Anthony say that Survation tends to overpoll minor parties?

    Maybe they have the Tories too high. :-)”

    ———

    Lol, and you said I was being cruel about Labour…

  10. “I just watched Miliband’s one nation speech from 3 Oct 2012 again. Wow, what a speech. Whatever happened?”

    —————

    What happened was that despite Ed’s speech and One Nation noises, immigration grew in salience to trump all other issues, including even the economy…

  11. “I just watched Miliband’s one nation speech from 3 Oct 2012 again. Wow, what a speech. Whatever happened?”
    ——————————————————————–

    Yeah, but forget that. it’s got nowt to do with content. Did you see him trying to eat a bacon sarnie?

    I’ve said times many, thank God we didn’t have the current media in 1940. Imagine the fun they’d have had with Churchill! A borderline alcoholic, over the borderline manic depressive, with a propensity for giving his troops the wrong V-sign.

    I’d give him 2 months in the current media world before “sources” started briefing against him.

  12. Survation/Mirror: CON 27 LAB 31 UKIP 24 LIB 9 OTH 9

    How long till crossover?

    Con-UKIP crossover.

    Seriously, spike after the Roch & St by-election could see it.

    And Miliband is the one in trouble? You lot on the wobbly left, get some bloody self-respect and locate your backbones.

  13. I don’t care what anyone says but you can’t possibly have a scenario where a party wins a majority with just 31% of the vote.

    If that happens then parliament should be recalled and another election has to be called. You can’t possibly shut out 69% of the electorate for 31%.

  14. LEFTYLAMPTON

    Is 31% the new winning line for Labour? Such high expectations for the few!!

  15. AC

    Go to bed daft lag. You’re tired and emotional, and reading too much into a straightforward post.

  16. Richard at 11.10

    “He can do it, we have seen him do it before. He can also fail, we also saw that. Come on Ed, inspire us, give us a vision, something positive, not more austerity, no more blaming immigration”

    That is a really great post up there with Carfrew’s immigration one. You should put those words in an email to his office.

  17. And to return to the theme of falling real wages

    From the Resolution Foundation November 2014

    “A downward shift in the mix of occupations across the workforce towards lower-paying cleaning and caring roles, along with a return of less experienced workers to the labour market, has prevented 2014 from being the year of the pay rise”

    “Since the 2008 crash wage rises have stayed below 2%”

    “This year the situation worsened as wage rates reversed, falling by 0.2% in August on the previous year – the first time the reading had turned negative since March-May 2009.”

    Matthew Whittaker, the think tank’s chief economist, said earnings are unlikely to exceed inflation before next year.

    Only the January and February wage figures will appear before election day

    Coalition parties

    2010 were 60%
    now down to 40%

    People don’t vote the parties that make them poorer.

    Except of course if they think the opposition parties will make them even worse off. I guess that is why 40% are still sticking.

    LINK
    http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/why-2014-hasnt-been-the-year-of-the-pay-rise/

  18. 1. RAF
    @Hoof Hearted
    “As someone said a few days ago, why is it that the Tories and LD’s don’t want EM to stay? Could it be that they think if EM stays, Labour could win?”
    JohnPolitico
    “What Labour need is some eye-grabbing policies … But the problem is the peoples’ eyes are all on immigration unfortunately.”

    I find it very odd that most posters on here agree that there is a need for radical policies and reform, including reform of the EU from within, and of immigration, not in terms of stopping it but by means of stronger integration of immigrants and minority groups,, and better distributed work opportunity generally, returns from wages, and strengthened access to housing, educaton and training: and housing – the latter, to take an example of how strategy goals are reached by planned outcomes – by a commitment and allocation of resources – such as 200,000 houses per year, including resumption of local authority social housing.
    A majority here seem to agree that these are objectives not achievable without an intellectual rather than presentational emphasis.
    Is it conceivable that the general public have the same perceptions, and that those in the presentational occupations – not suffering the wage and access deficits of most of the population – prefer a different scenario, and a different strategy, one which preserves their status quo?

  19. Except of course if they think the opposition parties will make them even worse off. I guess that is why 40% are still sticking.

    That’s exactly it.

    On the issue which should be capable of determining my vote regardless of all other issues (availability and affordability of houses to buy), in principle you’d think that I’d vote for Labour.

    I’m not going to though. That’s partly because my approach to voting is candidate-oriented, and local circumstances put me in a far better position to judge the other two candidates on that issue. But equally because fiscal policy is part of the house-buying equation, and I have a better idea of how things will turn out if one of the other two parties holds power or the balance of power. Labour on the other hand are like a second hand Italian car – equally likely to be the best decision you ever make or an absolute nightmare.

  20. #health, education and training: and housing……

  21. #health, education and training: and housing……

    This may be an alien concept to most people, but I base my vote on the issue or issues which matter most to me at the point I cast it, and on which individual I think is most likely to do something to improve things.

    At this exact moment it makes little difference to me whether people die in hospital for free or at a cost, whether the next generation’s academic attainment is determined by means or merit, or for that matter whether my next door neighbour is English, Polish or Nigerian.

    The fact that a two bed terraced in my local area is around nine to twelve times the median wage is on the other hand a pretty big deal.

  22. @TonyCornwall

    I find your devotion to your local paper (in spite of everything and from half way around the world) quite admirable. I wonder though if the Cornish Guardian has always devoted itself to the those important subjects amd eschued grander things?

    From the other extreme of England the Northern Echo is lively enough sheet, but it’s not the force it was under Harold Evans 40 years ago – a local paper with international scope and a national voice. I think that’s a rare bird these days, and that’s what I meant when I said that our local presshas been degraded.

  23. Good early Morning, everyone.

    Maybe Ed M will get his OBE: out by Easter, or before. However, the polls still suggest there is going to be a very close and confusing set of contests all over the country; Tory v Lab; Tory v Lib; Lab v Lib; UKIP v the lot.

    An exciting time for political geeks.

  24. RE: Plots against Ed

    The question that strikes me is “Why should anyone bother plotting if they believe Labour is on a losing track?”.

    Doesn’t anyone else remember the spectacle of Polly Toynbee hawking the idea of a challenge to Gordon Brown just a few months before the election of 2010? The reason that Polly’s efforts came to nought was that all the contenders ( notably David Miliband) thought that the election was already lost, and would rather see Gordon go down with the ship than risk drowning their own careers.

    I’m sure Cooper and Burnham are both ambitious, but they will both know the Labour constitution like the backs of their hands and neither of them is stupid. They know that their chances of becoming PM are greater if it is Ed who wins or loses the election. They are being briefed against more than they are briefing.

  25. Postage – that has got to be right.
    There may well be a good number of LP ‘senior’ figures uneasy with EM as leader but no serious possible challenger would be daft enough to even allow supporters to brief against EM let alone actively agitate.
    As a poster postulated yesterday there may be soomeone daft enough to try to be a stalking horse but the constitution militates against this.

    So far no significant figure has openly been disloyal – only a few from the ancien regime.

    The positive for Labour is that thiis will settle down and after R&S chances are the media will move on the anti-DC stories with of course there being no chance of a change at the top of the Tory party either this side of the GE.

  26. FV – very interesting.

    This quarter was always meant to be the one when wages (disposable income increases would be more helpful) finally moved ahead of inflation for the typical worker.
    (We know averages boosted by bonuses so it is not the best measure).

    Political polls being ahead of economic data could well be showing that in fact this is not happening as per the report you quote.

    I has thought that the Economic conditions for typical families was improving by now as GO kees postponing deficit reduction but the UKIP factor was squashing a poll improvement for the Governing parties.
    Perhaps it is still the Economy Stupid and the UKIP are only making progress due to a continued suppression of real wages adding apparent substance to their case.

  27. @John P

    “Is it conceivable that the general public have the same perceptions, and that those in the presentational occupations – not suffering the wage and access deficits of most of the population – prefer a different scenario, and a different strategy, one which preserves their status quo?”

    ———

    Oh yeah, I call them the “Witterati”… people whose job it is to “opine”, to witter on about summat, but who crucially do not lose their jobs if their opinion happens to be a bit rubbish.

    Whose careers are not affected in quite the same way as Lefty’s might be if a bridge comes crashing down.

    This extends beyond careers like journalism, to consultants being employed to rubber-stamp management decisions, accountants who nod through dubious accounts, to lawyers who get paid even if they lose the case, academics doing research that is also little more than opining on something or other, and surveys to also tell clients what they wanna hear etc. etc.

    A whole layer of jobs created not only to give well-remunerated careers to the “not-much-cop”, but whose work quite often shields others who are not much cop. Sometimes they sit on each others’ pay committees and tell each other how great they are doing.

  28. @Postage

    I recall your cynicism about some of the economic discussions on here – and you are not alone, some on here seem to think the economics discussions as little better than wibbling on about astrology – but the conclusions of the Resolution Foundation simply reinforce what some of us on here predicted: that the move towards lower-paying, self-employed, zero-hours contracts etc. together with pushing the unemployed into the jobs market without creating jobs for them, would help to hold back wages compared to inflation.

    Which isn’t exactly rocket science, but it isn’t astrology either. And actually, no one challenged this view. We didn’t get acres of oppositional fluff for the sake of it. At times they looked for countervailing data, which is fair enough, and there wasn’t much… more appropriately, they looked for economic conditions in the marginals that could sway the election.

    But the economics chats have been pretty decent really, which is why you don’t normally see AW having to mod them.

  29. ” the economics chats have been pretty decent really,”

    But tend to hit a bit of a deafening silence when we related the economy, i.e. the jobs to immigration and EU statutory policy on the single labour market, perhaps because, within the time frame of this GE and well beyond, there is absolutely nothing that will change the figures and their implications. Lacking the opportunity for affordable housing, the elderly without private pensions will suffer poverty. A generation of young men and women will remain in their parents’ households. if immigrant workers have better qualifications plus the experience that UK entrants to the market lack, then UK job seekers with take lower wage less qualified jobs. Second generation ethnic minority job seekers will have most difficulty in entering the job market and will be in greatest need of a wider job spread and of pre-vocational and vocational training. These are the breeding ground for despair and dissidence. This is the economy, stupid.

  30. Lol John, you must have skimmed the posts on those things John – people have discussed the issue of affordable housing, immigrants being better qualified than natives, not to mention my posts on boomers who having benefited from a different scenario, leaving what you describe as their legacy…

    Admittedly, I don’t recall much on second-gen immigrants, a category into which I fall myself. And peeps don’t always join the dots and go “this will be bad for future prospects of peeps!!” but a fair amount of the time that is just stating the obvious…

  31. I’m afraid you are kidding yourselves on here. Miliband is trapped and the worst is yet to come for him over the coming months. Its unthinkable that he can become PM.

    The concern about the campaign was fighting on two fronts ; the press now may be able to spend all of [their] time getting the kippers back and Cameron over the 326 line.

  32. @JP

    And Lord knows, this being a predominantly boomer board, impacts of pension changes were explored in quite fine detail. That said, there hasn’t been as much discussion of those left out of the pensions bonanza. I do recall discussion of how many public sector workers do not enjoy the wondrous pensions that others think are de rigeur in the public sector…

  33. This morning’s radio dominated by news that Nothing’s Happened. Several interviewees lined up to say that it’s good that Nothing’s Happened and explain why. Reporting of reports in papers that want Nothing to Not Happen. Such as speculation about two people discussing what each should do in the event of Nothing Not Happening. Since both deny it Nothing’s Happened there either.

  34. @Jim Jam – survey data suggests a continued fall in household incomes/confidence. YouGov/CEBR in particular found this ‘slumped’ in October, suggesting the pace of deterioration in household finances is quickening.

  35. @Pressman

    Yes, you fought on one front… attack Miliband and get some to move to UKip and others to go green. But then if you fight on the UKip front and voters return to Labour…

    Attacking Miliband was the easy part. Getting kippers to move to Tories without returning to Labour is the harder part…

    It’s like playing wacamole….

  36. Alec
    @Jim Jam – survey data suggests a continued fall in household incomes/confidence. YouGov/CEBR in particular found this ‘slumped’ in October, suggesting the pace of deterioration in household finances is quickening.

    That must be more worrying for Labour than the Tories since all the polling shows the Tories more competent than Labour on the economy by a mile. Suggests to me that Labour have little chance, as the voters will stick with the party that got the economy growing again even if the growth is uneven and threatened to some extent by the failures in Europe.

  37. Real or imaginary the Labour splits are big news. It will be interesting to see what effect that has on Sunday’s YouGov.

  38. @Carfrew

    “On the bright side, it gives you an extra half-hour to help us all out by catching up on some posts!!…”

    Yes, I can skim more efficiently too! :-p

    @Lefty

    “I’d give him 2 months in the current media world before “sources” started briefing against him.”

    Churchill wasn’t in politics for all that time without knowing how to survive. He was good pals with Lord Beaverbrook. If we had the modern press back then, he would have been best of buds with Murdoch.

    @All

    I see the BBC are running a “Labour ‘must pull together’ to win” headline. That suggests they are divided?

    Part of me thinks that the BBC are doing what they did in September. Part of me wonders if they want the Labour Party to win. I suppose any in-depth wonderings would be out-with site etiquette, so I’ll leave it at that.

    One potential knock-on effect might be that the ‘crisis’ (if indeed there is one) affects the SLAB leader election.

  39. Speaking of the ancien regime, Peter Hain on Today with an unwavering defence of Ed, combined with a searing in-a-nutshell critque of the coalition. More authoritative than the pleading tone which creeps into any pronouncement coming from Labour’s current front bench.

    Trouble is they still seem to have have a mental adjustment to being youngsters in the court of Gordon and Tony. Time to finally grow up.

  40. OZWALD

    Like they had in Nazi Germany or the old Soviet Union?

    Personally as I said yesterday I enjoy reading the right wing newspapers and sometimes the equally biased Left wing ones. I’m all for press freedom, we don’t live in a one party state yet..

    Back on polling the Survation poll looks odd to me, as i said above Sunday’s YouGov could be very interesting.

  41. It’s entirely thinkable that Miliband could become PM, and if he does, a large share of the thanks goes to Pressman and his chums for failing to heed one of the oldest of warnings – “DO not call up that which ye cannot put down”. They called up Ukip, they can’t put them down, and it might well kill the Tories.

  42. @Ozwald

    I think Pressman serves a useful function here, in reminding us that we ought to be ultra sceptical about any political reporting in NI papers, such as in this morning’s Times for example.

  43. This all seems to have started after that scathing assessment of EM by a well known leader of the evil network of Tory stooges posing as journalists- one Jason Cowley of the right wing rag New Statesman.

    :-)

    Don’t know if there is anything substantial happening-but the headlines are pretty awful for him.

  44. @TOH
    Good grief! We agree on something! I also find the Survation poll very odd. Odd that a left-leaning paper gets figures which favour Labour, whilst right-leaning papers show the opposite. Something to do with “weightings” methinks. But I treat all polls with caution. If they were all commisioned by independent organistaions I might trust them more.

  45. @TOH – “hat must be more worrying for Labour than the Tories since all the polling shows the Tories more competent than Labour on the economy by a mile. ”

    An interesting thought, and not necessarily incorrect. However, it’s worth noting that polling responses on economic competence did go up and down with perceptions of confidence and household income.

    The competence ratings aren’t static. If the economy is seen to be on the slide, which is by no means out of the question, then I would expect Tory ratings on economic management to suffer.

    The secondary question would then be whether voters think Labour have a chance to do better, but it’s likely the competence gap would close in such circumstances, in my view.

  46. @Colin

    Yesterday’s news. It was clear by about midnight last night that nothing would happen.

  47. @Phil Haines
    Yes I see your point. I will try to find out wot The Times says, but I thought it was behind a paywall, and I am in Scrooge mode, saving up for grandkids krimbo etc.

  48. Alec

    Fair enough, we just diasagree, as usual. We will both find out in 2015.

  49. @TOH
    You have proven my point for me. Ta.

  50. PRESSMAN

    ” Miliband is trapped and the worst is yet to come for him over the coming months. Its unthinkable that he can become PM.’

    Aye, he’d doomed, doomed, and everything you say three times is true.

    I wonder whether you could use your investigative skills to work out whether Lab to UKIP swingers are more or less likely to swing back that Con to UKIP swingers? I don’t have your sources, which I am sure are impeccable, but my guess is that they might be.

1 6 7 8 9 10