ComRes released their latest poll of marginal seats today. As regular readers will recall, ComRes’s marginal polls cover the 40 most marginal Con-v-Lab seats (25 Conservative held, 15 Labour held). Unlike Lord Ashcroft’s marginal polls (which are actually a series of individual constituency polls in seats that are marginals, which we can aggregate together to get an extremely large sample across a group of marginal seats) ComRes’s poll is a more traditional marginals poll – a single poll of a group of marginal seats, meaning it gives us a measure of those seats as a whole, but has far too few people to tell us anything about the individual seats within that group.

Latest voting intention figures in these marginals with changes from the last time ComRes polled them in September is CON 31%(+1), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 18%(+1). These seats had Labour and Conservative equal at the last election so an eight point lead here is the equivalent of a four point national swing and a one point Labour lead in national polls…pretty much exactly what the national polls have been showing lately (actually if you look at the crossbreaks of the poll they suggest a swing towards the Conservatives in the Conservative held seats, a swing towards Labour in the Labour held seats, but given the sample size of those two groups and that the poll is only weighted at the level of all forty seats I wouldn’t put too much weight on that).

Note also that, judging from the tables, ComRes have switched over to prompting for UKIP in their main voting intention question in this poll – as with their last national poll, it does not seem to have had a major effect (UPDATE – I think this is because ComRes have changed turnout weightings, so that there is a tighter turnout filter for the Greens and UKIP than for the main parties). Tabs are here.

There should be another batch of Lord Ashcroft polls of individual marginal seats later this week.


147 Responses to “ComRes poll of marginal seats”

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  1. So more immigrants under the coalition than under (New) Labour. UKIP will be pleased…and their potential voters displeased.

    Open door policy, anybody?

    I am worried that UKIP might get far more seats than I’d like.

  2. Peter Oborne giving the Chancellor’s questionable record both barrels this morning.

    It’s clear the principled Oborne does not care one jot for the Chancellor and feels it his duty to express his opinion, so I expect there will be more social media nudging and winking about the former.

  3. oborne will be saying how brilliant osborne is next week…he is wonderfully mercurial and inconsistent.

  4. @TOH

    “if Scotland has 100% income tax powers in Scotland then English MP’s should have 100% income tax powers in England”

    Given that 533 (82%) of MPs are English, it’s pretty close. At present, the Scots have 9% tax powers, the Welsh 6% and the Irish less than 3%.

    If the 533 split across party lines, that’s democracy.

  5. @Ben Foley

    Pressman is rooting for you. “The enemy of my enemy is….” and all that.

  6. @NickP,

    “So more immigrants under the coalition than under (New) Labour. UKIP will be pleased…and their potential voters displeased.”

    Not quite. According to official figures given out on the ITV news, “net migration remains below the peak of 320,000 in the year ending June 2005”.

  7. Some good news for Labour today on the cross break front (Scotland) Up 3% on yesterdays SNP down 2%. (Yougov)

    SNP…39% = 36 seats

    LAB..28% = 18 seats

    TORY..18% = 3 seats

    LIB/DEM…4% = 2 seats

    GRN…4%

    UKIP..4%

    This time I had to give the Tories 1% extra on the predictor to bring the totals up to 90%.

  8. Just dipped in after a hectic morning’s indolence at work. Firstly, Statgeek, you missed my post before yours last night. I was the first person to report the YouGov poll showing the 1% Tory lead in today’s YouGov. You mustn’t be so cynical; it doesn’t become you. :-)

    Secondly, desperately sad news from Australia about the cricketer, Phil Hughes. He’s a little older than my oldest son and was a cricketer of immense promise, as well as being a remarkably pleasant man too. He made many friends in my part of the world during his short spell with Worcestershire and his untimely and shocking death is a tragic loss to his family, friends and the game of cricket. Whether lessons need to be learned about protective helmets and short pitched bowling, I’m not sure, but it’s a sobering thought for those of us who love cricket to reflect that he was killed as a result of the nature of the game itself as opposed to dying from other causes whilst playing. Hit on the head by a deliberately short pitched ball. Tragic for Hughes but a ghastly experience for the young quick bowler, Abbott, too, who would have had no idea that the ball he unleashed would prove to be so lethal. I wonder how many parents of young children who are only just embarking on participating in team sports, will now be discouraging them from taking up cricket?

    Lastly, the polls and it’s worth remembering that YouGov aren’t the only pollster in town and whilst we’ve had two on the trot showing a 1% Tory lead, their previous three had Labour leads of 1-4% and Populus and Ashcroft had 3% and 5% Labour leads only days ago.

    Mind you that probably won’t stop clowns like Andrew Neil and David Dimbleby introducing their questions to Labour spokesmen tonight by saying, “Now that the polls are showing the Tories ahead…..”

    La-la land political journalism.

  9. @CB11

    “Firstly, Statgeek, you missed my post before yours last night. I was the first person to report the YouGov poll showing the 1% Tory lead in today’s YouGov. You mustn’t be so cynical; it doesn’t become you. :-)”

    I referred to the usual bombardment of tweet pastings that usually appears here at 10.30pm. I was searching back and forth across the page for them, lest I repost them.

    Just saying “1% lead” says nothing for the rest of the parties.

  10. @CB11

    Good post. Have there been two 1% Tory leads in a row for YouGov though? I thought the last one had Labour on 34 or have I missed one?

  11. CROSSBAT11
    Good grief, agree with your every word. Tragic business in Oz.
    As you are aware, nobody would wish to see a 10 point Tory lead more than me. However, at present it would be nice just to stop Brillo lying and nose in front.

  12. AC

    Those Scottish figures are examples of why you can’t trust crossbreaks (and possibly polling more generally). Unless every incumbent LD candidate stands down they will win more than two Scottish seats. My money is on them retaining O&S, Skye+, Caithness+, and East Dumbartonshire. Plus they have a large majority in NE Fife, and could still retain this too if they invest enough.

  13. BARNEY CROCKETT
    Richard
    Labour in Scotland doomed? Again? Posters have been saying that since I first posted here. And one day it might be true. In fact everything is still to play for. Whoever is elected leader will get a monstering many timed worse than that experienced by E Miliband. But sensible policies well put could still see Labour do well in the forthcoming UK elections. Being attacked by L McLusky isn’t something only Scottish Labour politicians experience. It will be hard for thse outside Scotland to remember that in the last UK election, SNP expectations were also very high and A Salmond said that he would make the UK dance to a Scottish jig which did not turn out to be what happened. There is a crisis but Laboour is not doomed.
    _______

    Yes Salmond did go into the 2010 UK election with extremely high expectations but as you rightly pointed out it ended up nothing more than a busted flush and not one single seat in Scotland changed hands..Well maybe one did?

    If posters have spelt doom and gloom for Scottish Westminster Labour then it has to be attributed to the current polling and a large dose of “What might happen” in the unlikely scenario if the SNP continue to poll in the low to mid 40% bracket.

    However the big unknown question for me is…In 2010 when Labour swept the board in Scotland Jim Murphy said on election night when everything was going Labour’s way “The results we are seeing tonight are attributed to the SNP’s failings in government”

    Months later the SNP swept the board in Scotland for the Holyrood elections so what I want to know is..What caused Labour euphoria in 2010 to become Labour meltdown in 2011?

    Back to 2015 I will forecast the SNP to win around 22 seats tops and 18 at the low end but that’s on the premises Labour can get their act together but until then the polls do suggest Labour are in for a hammering in Scotland so it could well end up being doom & gloom.

  14. INTERESTED
    AC
    Those Scottish figures are examples of why you can’t trust crossbreaks (and possibly polling more generally). Unless every incumbent LD candidate stands down they will win more than two Scottish seats. My money is on them retaining O&S, Skye+, Caithness+, and East Dumbartonshire. Plus they have a large majority in NE Fife, and could still retain this too if they invest enough
    _______

    That’s true but until we get another Scottish poll it’s all we have to go on and to be honest the cross breaks for Scotland have not been too far off from the recent Scottish polling.

    On the seats, you’re right polling in general possibly does not pick up the strong local support the Lib/Dems have in Scotland and even at 4% they could well hold onto a handful of seats but my guess is that they will lose every single one of their mainland seats as they did in 2011.

    There is no way they will hold onto East Dunbartonshire, that seat has SNP and Labour written all over it.

  15. The one point Tory lead from YOU GOV is as nice as nip, but if the noble Lord of Belize comes up with LAB 36, CON 31, later today, it rather projects one into the air.

  16. Alan Christie: now that the Smith report on further devolution of powers to Scottish Parliament is out, how is that likely to impact SNP voting intention in Scotland ?

  17. AC

    Does Ross, Skye + Lochabar count as mainland or island?!

    Re East Dumbartonshire was 63.3% NO in the referendum. Therefore the SNP will need to significantly outperform the YES vote. In 2010 they got 11%. Labour is much, much closer but if I was a unionist Tory or Labour supporter I would probably still vote for Jo Swinson.

  18. MBRUNO
    Alan Christie: now that the Smith report on further devolution of powers to Scottish Parliament is out, how is that likely to impact SNP voting intention in Scotland ?
    _______

    Short answer…I haven’t a clue?? Some people will be happy and others won’t. It still has to pass through Westminster and nothing will be in place until after 2015 so I really can’t say.

    I suppose at a push it depends if more people are happy with it than not then it might see a dip on in the SNP’s VI but on the other hand if it’s deemed to fall short then the SNP’s VI could well stay or even go up from the current VI.

    I don’t know.

  19. INTERESTED

    “Does Ross, Skye + Lochabar count as mainland or island?!”
    …..

    Like A&B and North Ayrshire it’s a mainland seats which includes islands.
    ….
    “Re East Dumbartonshire was 63.3% NO in the referendum. Therefore the SNP will need to significantly outperform the YES vote. In 2010 they got 11%. Labour is much, much closer but if I was a unionist Tory or Labour supporter I would probably still vote for Jo Swinson”
    ___

    I never said the SNP will win ED but said it had SNP and Labour written all over it, it’s going to be a SNP gain or Labour gain.

    I wouldn’t get too clued up on the Yes and No votes and trying to draw conclusions from them at the GE.

    Mind the 63% who voted No will be a split ticket in 2015 between the unionist parties so if the SNP were to poll even the Yes vote in that seat (37%) then I think they might take it.

    Also, the areas where the Yes vote was at it’s highest, the SNP were no where to be seen in the equivalent areas in the 2010 UK election, ie Glasgow, N Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

    Remember the 55.4% who voted No will be split between Labour, Tory Lib/Dem and UKIP in 2015.

  20. Terribly sad about the Australian bowler. Have there ever been other fatalities resulting from being hit by the ball during play?

  21. @mbruno / Allan

    It will depend on how the media report things (I will not hold my breath).

    Sarwar, Curran, Alexander and others are tweeting “Vow Delivered”, while Swinney is saying it’s nowhere near the vow.

    What the media reports to the voters will decided who is heard and believed. An impartial media will be crucial.

  22. @Allan Christie:

    Alternatively if the Scots feel sufficiently decoupled from Westminster they may not feel an incentive to swing back to Labour to keep the Tories out.

    Impossible to read at this stage.

  23. STATGEEK

    Absolutely I would go along with that. All eyes and ears on the media. Just hope The National plays its part. :-)

    John P

    That’s the way it’s looking at the moment and I can’t see the vote SNP get Tory hard sell making as much headway as it used to do, especially if the Vow’s have been met then it should mitigate any bad Tory effect on Scotland….

  24. Yes, Valerie, a number of cricketers have been killed after being hit by a ball. There were a couple last year in fact. Apparently the first was in 1870.

  25. John P

    Exactly my thoughts which is why I think if they invest enough the LDs may hold the seat.

    AC

    So you think Charles Kennedy will lose his seat?

  26. INTERESTED

    “AC
    So you think Charles Kennedy will lose his seat?”
    ____

    Yes.

  27. AC

    Thats going to take some swing!

  28. Roland – yes all the bigger Lab leads were just moe and/or (Populus) methological as are the narrow Con leads.

    Underly..g picture for the last couple of weeks seems to be a narrow 1% ish Lab lead.

    All to play for and expect little movement this year now.

  29. I’m also wondering whether there is going to be some sort of reaction to the proposal for full devolution of powers to set the rate of income tax to Scotland, in England as well. It is beyond anything that I had expected prior to the reports that emerged over the last few days. I cannot see how it is in the interests of anyone that is concerned to ensure that income tax operates effectively within the UK as a whole, especially with regard to the higher rates of tax.

    Establishing someone’s main place of residence for the purpose of paying income tax is difficult and as such leaves the system open to widespread evasion by those with the means to do so. Where we are talking about small variations of 1% people won’t bother to try and game the system, but this goes well beyond that. If either Scotland or the UK have a top rate of tax below that of the other, it will undermine the combined tax revenue from both and put pressure on the one with the higher rate to reduce it. It becomes a race to the bottom.

    In addition, it brings the EVEL issue (or at least the E&W&NIVE&W&NIL issue) into sharp focus. The legitimacy of Scottish
    MPs votes on UK income tax rates is clearly questionable. Before, you could argue that regional government was a means of countering the limited lopsidedness of the current devolution settlement, but full devolution of income tax rates to the English regions is inconceivable and would just add to the problem above.

    Even if the constitutional imbalance is ignored, with potentially some 25+ SNPs refusing to vote on a 50% top rate of tax, it would still make a Labour government’s chance of passing legislation for that far harder, and in turn that would make it harder for the Scots to unilaterally introduce a 50% rate in Scotland alone. And if the SNP MPs argued that in practice the impact of the UK taxes on Scotland makes legitimate for them to vote on this, then that would undermine the whole rationale as to why the whole of the UK should not have a say over the top rate of tax in Scotland.

    I can see why the Conservatives will be content to offer devolution of income tax in a context where it encourages a race to the bottom. But Labour?

  30. @Valerie/Norbold

    At lower levels of the game, where protective equipment is less sophisticated, or not even worn at all, there have been some deaths caused by being hit by a cricket ball, but Hughes is the first fatality at the highest level of the game that I can recall. There have been some close calls though, Phil Simmons and Ewan Chatfield spring to mind, but I don’t think I can remember a death in professional cricket in my lifetime.

    Some time ago, and sensibly in my view, the ECB stipulated that all young cricketers below the age of 14 (I think) had to wear helmets when batting, fielding close to the wicket and keeping wicket. Actually, in all my years of playing club cricket, the worst injuries I ever saw were to close fielders and wicketkeepers, not batsman. That five and a half ounce of fast moving leather is a very dangerous projectile.

  31. Interested

    East Dumbartonshire was 63.3% NO in the referendum. Therefore the SNP will need to significantly outperform the YES vote. In 2010 they got 11%. Labour is much, much closer but if I was a unionist Tory or Labour supporter I would probably still vote for Jo Swinson

    It’s an unusual seat in being a LD-Lab marginal in Scotland, but of course there 38.8%[1] is more than enough to win most seats – Swinson only got 39% in 2010 after all. It’s possible that No votes will rally behind her to some extent but she will lose other tactical votes that she got from the SNP to keep the other two Parties out. The Tories probably won’t drop much below their current 15% (as Anthony points out anywhere but Scotland this would be a safe seat for them) and Labour will more likely only lose to the SNP. With UKIP picking up a few percent as well, the No votes will be too split.

    This is what should have been clear all along, the process of consolidation, that the long referendum campaign encouraged, meant that pro-independence voters have rallied behind the SNP. They will also now pick up or regain some soft No voters who support them on ‘Best for Scotland’ grounds. First Past the Post means they sweep the board that way.

    We’ll just have to wait to see if this is one of Lord Ashcroft’s latest marginals, or if his Scottish batch will come along later. According to his latest tweet:

    My latest battleground research – plus bonus polls in Doncaster North, Sheffield Hallam and Thanet South – out today at 1pm on @ConHome

    so we won’t have to wait long.

    [1] Calculated from official results here:
    http://scotlandreferendum.info/

  32. Isn’t the most remarkable thing about this that UKIP are polling 18% in Con/Lab marginals (ie. where you would expect them to be squeezed most!)

    If this is reflected in the GE, UKIP will have a huge influence on whether Conservatives or Labour are the largest party.

  33. Re Phil Hughes, it something that non cricket enthusiasts don’t realise about the sport that at the top level inducing fear, and sometimes terror, is integral to the the strategy of the game.

    I can’t think of any other non martial art sport in which manipulating an opposition using their instinct of self preservation is so integral to sporting strategy.

    It’s not just the lower order ‘rabbits’.

    I remember one test match batsmen, with a world class average of over 50, who allegedly retired early after becoming gun shy of all the intimidatory bowling during the heyday of West Indies cricket.

  34. @Roger / Interested

    See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strathkelvin_and_Bearsden_%28Scottish_Parliament_constituency%29

    and

    h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clydebank_and_Milngavie_%28Scottish_Parliament_constituency%29

    Those are the Scottish Parliament constituencies that cover East Dunbartonshire (as far as I can ascertain).

    Both narrowly became SNP in 2011, despite being fairly solid Labour. Now the Lib Dems don’t tend to factor in to things in the Holyrood elections for some reason.

    My instinct is that it should turn red in 2015 due to the Lib Dem collapse, but it might go yellow due to the SNP’s rise. I doubt the SNP / Labour battles in Scotland are now confined to Holyrood alone.

  35. Very interest DP today from which I conclude:-

    The Smith Commission states :-

    ” Income Tax will remain a shared tax and both the UK and Scottish Parliaments will share control of Income Tax.
    MPs representing constituencies across the whole
    of the UK will continue to decide the UK’s Budget, including Income Tax.”
    Para 75.

    ” Within this framework, the Scottish Parliament will have the power to set the rates of Income Tax and the thresholds at which these are paid for the non-savings and non-dividend income of Scottish taxpayers ”
    Para 76.

    Labour signed these conditions on the understanding that Para 75 means Scottish MPs will vote on the UK Budget-all of it-in its entirety.

    Conservatives signed these conditions on the understanding that Para 75 means Scottish MPs will vote on the UK Budget-except when the features devolved to Scotland in Para 76 are being voted on-ie rUK “rates & thresholds”.

    This will be a GE manifesto issue.

    Labour MPs are reported to be concerned that the Labour interpretation of Smith on this point is unsustainable.

  36. AC+RM

    Yes I totally agree with your analysis of a split unionist vote in many seats is going to have much more of an impact then YES voters voting Green etc

    However in East Dumbarton I think it depends on if the LDs are prepared to invest in trying to retain the seat. As many people view Jo Swinson as a future LD leader I think they will. So if LiS continues to perform very poorly can they even win it? As you (RM) note, Labour (4.6% behind in 2010) will probably lose votes to the SNP…but will it be enough for the SNP (28.2% behind in 2010) to win the seat? I guess depends on how many YES voters voted LD last time? It’s going to be very interesting!

    Going back to my original point unless there is a significant moment in the campaign (eg ‘I agree with Nick’ in 2010), this is going to be a four or five way vote (depending on where you live), and I think that although the polls will be correct in general there will be some significant local variation in the voting which will produce some surprising results, potentially in every direction (if that makes sense)

  37. PHIL Haines

    re your second para , I can fore see a nightmare cock up in prospect.

    Collection of Scottish Income Tax will rest with HMRC. Apart from the issues of residence which you raise, there is presumably an issue of different PAYE systems in prospect for Scottish & rUK employers-and also for HMRC.

    Does any change to any UK Civil Service computer system ever produce the desired outcomes ?

  38. @RM

    Re Ashcroft:
    “My latest battleground research – plus bonus polls in Doncaster North, Sheffield Hallam and Thanet South – out today at 1pm on @ConHome”

    But not one in Witney, that might have the potential to cause a bit of embarrassment for his own party. While it will be fascinating stuff no doubt, sometimes we need to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the person commissioning the research and that he isn’t doing it entirely out of the goodness of his heart but also in order to try and shape a particular narrative.

  39. Barney Crockett

    RM
    The flaw in your argument is that those picked up are taken in to the EU, the object of the migrant therefore being achieved.

    But that’s not my argument. My argument is that if they are picked up, they don’t make it into Europe as illegal immigrants. Possibly they might eventually be admitted as legitimate asylum seekers, but they will more likely end up sent back to their home country.

    But if the EU doesn’t make any effort to intercept them them, all those who make it through will achieve their object. Even if they are subsequently captured, they will end up going through the same process as if they had been rescued, so there’s no saving in costs there. And other shipping will still be obliged to rescue those on vessels in distress under international maritime law, so the problem won’t go away.

    What the EU is indicating here is that it is perfectly happy with illegal immigration providing they can pretend not to know about it, effectively saying “Come on in, we’ve left the door open. But if you trip over the doorstep, we won’t pick you up”. I can see why the Pope is protesting about the inhumanity of it, but everyone is missing the point that it also goes against the stated aims of why it is being carried out.

  40. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11256116/Net-migration-hits-260000-in-new-blow-for-Government-pledge.html#disqus_thread

    Feel the rage coming off those comments BTL, have a read if you are not of a sensitive disposition

    It is one of the things that can give UKIP another boost.

    Unfortunate timing for Dave C’s speech on immigration, although surely he must have known the figures some days ago.

  41. This isn’t the Ashcroft Scottish marginals we’ve been waiting for (there have been rumours of polling, so maybe soon), but mainly Lib Dem seats plus a some odds and sods:

    Of the eighteen seats I have polled over the past four weeks, eleven are held by the Liberal Democrats with the Conservatives in second place. These have bigger majorities than those I have previously surveyed on the Lib Dem battleground, from 9.3% (Cheltenham) to 15.2% (Hazel Grove). To these I have added Watford, the most closely contested of the Conservative seats I have polled where the Lib Dems were second in 2010.

    I have also looked at Burnley and Birmingham Yardley, two Lib Dem-held Labour targets not yet covered in my research. And though it does not fit easily into any category, having had an independent MP over two parliaments who finished second at the last election, I have also looked at Wyre Forest.

    In addition to these I thought it would be interesting to poll the constituencies of the three leaders of the opposition: Ed Miliband’s Doncaster North, Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam (the electoral opposition, if not technically the Opposition) and Thanet South, where Nigel Farage hopes to be elected next May.

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2014/11/surprises-latest-constituency-polling-look-leaders-backyards/

  42. Colin

    Why does there need to be a different PAYE system? I would have thought this would just be a case of different tax codes. I would be more concerned about people doing self-assessment as that would presumably mean you would have to do it twice if you moved across the border!

    However as many other countries cope with regional taxation, why can’t the UK?

  43. @Crossbat 11

    Very sad about Phil Hughes. May he rest in peace.

  44. Looking at those seats the LD seem to be hanging on quite well – certainly a lot better than their national polling

    “In the eleven Lib Dem-Conservative seats the powerful incumbency factor enjoyed by many Lib Dem MPs is clearly on display.”

    They hold 10 of their seats and pretty comfortably as well.

    Brecon and Radnorshire
    Carshalton and Wallington
    Cheltenham
    Colchester
    Hazel Grove
    Kingston and Surbiton
    Lewes
    Southport
    Thornbury and Yate
    Birmingham!Yardley

    They only lose 3

    North Devon – just
    Portsmouth South
    Burnley

    I have no idea how you could correlate these results to a national opinion poll.

  45. http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Lewes-poll-November-2014.pdf

    It was interesting to see that tactical voting boosted Norman Baker’s percentage from 25% to 37% … and without that LDs trail 8% points behind the Tories. Seems like 33% of Lewes Labour supporters are still intending to vote tactically, in spite of NB’s role in the coalition.

  46. Interested

    Correct. Since Scottish rates of Income tax were going to happen anyway under the 2012 Act, HMRC have already got the procedures in place, by the use of an “S” Tax code.

    Apart from extending the scope of the Scottish Parliament in setting more of the tax rates, bands etc, from a quick scan, there isn’t that much in the Smith Commission recommendations.

    A little more of the Calman Commission proposals, that Westminster declined to incorporate in the 2012 Act : more flexibility to adjust some welfare provision in areas related to devolved matters : some useful tidying up of needlessly reserved matters : more formal rights for the Scottish Government to be consulted in various areas.

    All useful stuff – though many matters kicked into the long grass, and we’ll need to see how the UK Government turns the recommendations into draft legislation by the end of January, to assess the actual package which an incoming UK Parliament might want to consider.

  47. FV

    Agree the “bottom line” of the Ashcroft polls looks better for LibDem incumbents than national polls would suggest. However Ashcroft’s methodology is highly favourable to them by inviting respondents to make a tactical vote but without giving them the latest information on trends that they
    need to make that decision, as well as allocating DKs by previous voting pattern in 2010, which is bound to help Libdems too.

    Most of the projected holds also look far from comfortable. If you look at the first straight Q on voting intention before all the adjustments Libdems are usually behind one or both of the main Parties. They only sneak ahead in Birmingham Yardley after the final adjustments, having scored less than half of Labour’s vote on the first Q. If respondents had been told the outcome of the first vote and only then asked what their constituency vote would be I think it’s likely that other seats would have slipped away from incumbent Libdems. ( this is after all only another variant of the well-known technique pioneered by Libdems of claiming 2nd ( or even a narrow first place) (“LibDems Winning Here” slogan) except that Ashcroft’s figures are at least truthful before adjustment …;-)

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