Lord Ashcroft has released a good selection of new constituency polls, covering some interesting constituencies. Full details are here.

The least intersting is probably High Peak – a largely run of the mill Con -v- Lab marginal. Ashcroft previously polled it in February, finding a wafer thin one point Labour lead. In the second survey the Tories are now ahead by 2 points, but the changes are within the margin of error – it still looks like a seat on a knife edge.

He then looked at two seats that were effectively three-way marginals in 2010 – Colne Valley and Bristol North West – both seats the Conservatives won with the Lib Dems in second place, but Labour an extremely close third. In both seats the Lib Dems have collapsed completely and they are now Con -v- Lab marginals, in Bristol North West the Conservatives have a healthy nine point lead, in Colne Valley it is again on a knife-edge, with the Tories just two points ahead.

Moving on Lord Ashcroft polled Bristol West. This is one of the few Lib Dem seats we haven’t had a constituency poll of yet, but more interestingly it is one of the Green party’s main target seats for the election. The poll suggests they will fall well short – while it shows the Greens moving up to second place with 25% of the vote, they are far behind Labour on 38%.

Finally Lord Ashcroft polled two UKIP targets. One was Thurrock, an ultra-marginal between Labour and the Conservatives at the last election that appears to be one of UKIP’s best hopes for a gain – here Ashcroft found a four point UKIP lead over Labour in second place, the Tories just a point behind. The other was Rochester and Strood, UKIP’s by-election victory last year. Today’s Ashcroft poll gives the Conservatives the advantage in trying to retake it – CON 36%, LAB 24%, LDEM 3%, UKIP 33%.

587 Responses to “New Lord Ashcroft marginal polls”

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  1. ProfHoward

    What is to stop Labour (or Tories) simply repeal the FTPA as part of its C&S deal with those it forms a govt with?

    Is it in any party’s interest to keep the FTPA?

    Well it can’t simply be repealed because of various technical things to do with Royal Prerogative – something has to be put in it’s place and when you come to deciding exactly what between different Parties, you will get endless fun.

    Even if you can manage to get a Bill to restore the situation so it is effectively the same as it was previously, the only Parties that will be in favour will be those who:

    (a) Provide the current PM who will then regain the power to call an election at their whim


    (b) Are certain that they will gain seats when that next election is called

    Otherwise they’d just be turkeys passing a law to say Christmas can be whenever their enemies feel like it.

    Now (a) and (b) can only be satisfied by a Party that has an overall majority. Which isn’t the case now or likely in two weeks’ time. Even then there’s good polling evidence that the public like the FTPA[1] and even that individual MPs back it. So any government wanting to get rid of it will face opposition from both the people and from their own backbenchers. The Lords may also not want to cooperate.

    [1] They’re pretty evenly split over whether it should be four or five years, but generally think it a good idea.


    It’s a quid pro quo where the timing could be tricky. The big party will want it a.s.a.p. while the smaller ones might not, and if we have a rainbow alliance will enough people want it at the same time?

    It’s this more than any point of principle that makes me think it might be difficult to get rid of.

  3. My Guess is

    Con 33
    Lab 35

  4. James Peel

    Since the 1970s Westminster has passed power up (to EU) and down (to devolved institutions and to London etc with more to come perhaps) and I therefore think a small reduction of MPs seems proportionate.

  5. Horrific typos in the previous one. Apologies

  6. (And Westminster has also handed power to other bodies, e.g. over interest rates to B of E etc).

  7. my guess, reversion to mean

    therefore both on 34,.

  8. @Robontheroad

    If believe Ed Balls will lose, visit Ladbrokes.

    They will give you 10/1.

    If you are sure Ed will lose, those odds are practically stealing.



    HaHa. Loved that. Maybe you should be in charge of a daily ‘political joke’ section of UKPR

  10. Mikey

    It was Lord Hanningfield.

  11. @Robontheroad

    I volunteer with EB’s team and I would disagree about leaflets. Firstly Andrea’s leaflets are delivered by post whereas Ed’s are delivered by activists. Because leaflets are delivered in a more accurate way locally I would suggest your 10 to 1 is probably not one of our targets.

    Last time I looked Ladbrokes made Ed a 1/33 shot for the seat (in from 1/7) which is “too short” but hopefully it indicates the chance he stands.

  12. LASZLO

    I don’t think its different.

    Great story -sounds like a Communist era classic from yesteryear :-)

    Let’s hope it stays in yesteryear-but I wouldn’t bet against needing a Party Card to get into the Peoples Emporium at some point in our future :-)

  13. RAF

    I said yesterday that from this Fri to next Fri I expect the TOries to average 1% more (perhaps 0.5% with rounding!) so I had to go for 34/34 with Yougov given their inclination to give labour leads! 34/34 with them is equivalent to a 1% Tory lead….

  14. Paddy power has Balls at 1/10

  15. Chris James

    I have been very impressed by Ed Balls; he is a brilliant thinker IMHO.

  16. I suspect a lot of Clegg’s comments recently about (essentially) “I would support a Conservative government rather than a Labour one” are laser-focussed on one specific segment of the electorate, i.e. Conservative voters in Sheffield Hallam.

  17. Lab lead 34/32 YG.

  18. One day I will remember to refresh the page before posting a comment then I would see that the question had been asked & I might not look as big a fool as I currently feel…. ;)

  19. Bramley

    I know!!! I posted Lord H at 9:14pm albeit after a spot of googling.


    That makes sense. Although you would think any Tories in Sheffield Hallam who are open to tactical voting would be voting LD anyway to keep Labour out.

  21. Latest YouGov poll (24 – 25 Apr):
    LAB – 34% (-1)
    CON – 32% (-1)
    UKIP – 14% (+1)
    LDEM – 9% (+1)
    GRN – 6% (-)

  22. @Chris the Tories have delivered half by hand.. I do know that as a fact. One labour again hand delivered. I don’t gamble.. but speaking to lots I do not know anyone who will vote for eb.

  23. Exile in Yorks.

    Interesting.. Seems to me that getting rid of FTPA is one of these things you need to do right at the start, so it would either have to be agreed and passed at the outset (in return for “sweeteners” to the smaller parties required) or not at all.


    And blue Lib Dem voters down here in the South West who are it seems thinking of voting Conservative this time round in case Clegg decides to support Labour.

  25. You can get 5/1 odds on UKIP getting exactly 3 seats, which would mirror the YouGov nowcast. Well worth a little flutter, should you be so inclined!

  26. Laszlo/Colin

    The best commie joke is still Reagan’s “new car”

  27. Con on only 32% with YouGov will not make for good reading at Tory HQ.
    Lab at 34% is steady but nowt special. Still deadlock with zero sign of crossover to the Tories.

  28. Comment on YouGov Poll:

    This is the latest of a large number of Labour leads on YouGov. Interesting to see LD and UKIP doing better and the top two falling again.

    Though YouGov seems to have a small but robust lead, this is not true of all pollsters.

    As such I can only conclude we are in polldrums still.

  29. Election 2015 part of the BBC website quoting Survation giving Tories 3 point lead…are they early or a few days late with this lol?

  30. And England win the cricket!

  31. The YouGov poll suggests that Lynton Crosby’s McWedge strategy is not working as of yet.

  32. Smithy I’m very disappointed in you.

    I don’t gamble.. but speaking to lots I do not know anyone who will vote for eb.

    I suppose it depends if you are canvassing in particular parts of a ward, speaking to friends and family or whatever. Such conversations give fantastic insight into parts of the electorate but don’t always reflect the full range of views in a constituency. Hence polls and broader patterns have to be taken into account. It may be that you are talking to the ‘majority’ in your area or maybe not…. Its hard to call a seat on such conversations though.

  34. From the latest YG we can only conclude that #Villagate’s effects have been so harmful that they’ve not only hurt David Cameron but Ed Miliband as well, because they’re often seen together and thus associated in the public mind. No other explanation and I expect to see this analysis replicated across the Sunday front pages.

  35. @ Colin

    You sound a bit down. We won’t agree on the poster, but it doesn’t matter. I have always appreciated your inquisitive questions, when I made a generalised, and unsustainable claim, and hence these made my thoughts focused. I’m not sure if you do it with a helping intention, but helping is the outcome.

    Apart from one party’s role I really don’t think the outcome of these elections matters (but because of that party it matters a lot). There’s very little room for manoeuvrings for anybody. I think this is the main thing in this election. It is the demarcation lines from 2010 coloured by UKIP and SNP. Whoever comes in would have roughly the same measures about the economy and would have to account for political needs, because the country is cut roughly half-half.

  36. Quite .. as I said I don’t know outwood at all

  37. The boundary review already had fudges to deal with outlier constituencies (IoW / Scottish island seats). In the case of IoW, the residents have made it fairly clear that they’d sooner be in one constituency where their votes are worth proportionally less than the average than split into two in a way that includes voters on the other side of the Solent.

    The Boundary Commissions have generally been good at balancing out population numbers with geography and local govt boundaries, and the only real solution to equalise vote weight is some kind of party list system.

  38. Survation to give cons a 3 point lead via BBC?

    “The announcement comes as the latest opinion poll from Survation for the Mail on Sunday has given the Conservatives a three point lead over Labour.”

  39. I’ve got nothing but contempt for anyone who pretends to like football to make himself more popular and for him then to get it wrong just makes him a complete toss pot.

    He is a fraud.

  40. thanks CATOSWYN :)

  41. BristolianHoward/Norbold

    Commiserations to the Rovers fan and congratulations to the Barnet man. The Harriers, essentially in free-fall for three months, did dig out a gutsy performance against Barnet last Saturday, but that late winner for Dover did for the Rovers, I think.

    I’m still smarting from that late City winner earlier this evening when we should have scored 60 seconds beforehand. We wuz robbed, but we’re now an unrecognisable side from the one that Sherwood inherited and we ought to stay up. Hopefully|!

    As for the polls, not another Labour YouGov lead, surely? This is getting silly now. I would have bet my house on a tie or small Tory lead, something a little like the earlier Opinium. So, Mr YouGov, when are you going to revert to the mean? Or is your mean a small Labour lead now?

  42. @Oberta

    Steady on. It’s only a game, you know.

    Politics that is, not Football.


  43. @Robontheroad

    You must be living in a different area to me. There have been one or two posters in poor quality locations eg, near the Fountain Medical Centre but I have not seen any garden stakes and very few posters red/blue in Morley South. I drove through Wrenthorpe on the way to Wakefield and saw nothing. I finally saw my first garden stake in Wakefield for Mary Creagh!

  44. It’s just deadlock still and I can’t see anything changing now until polling day

  45. BlueMoby

    The last Survation gave Con a 4 point lead so this sounds like the update poll which Con will be pleased with albeit a slightly reduced lead

  46. ProfHoward

    They wanted to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 which I think is a good idea.

    Not really – the real problem was it just lead to 50 fewer backbench MPs to hold the government to account. In such a centralised country as the UK, you probably want as many as possible, especially the way the Executive keeps expanding. Very little power has been handed over to other democratic bodies in England, and it being handed elsewhere is a reason for more democratic scrutiny and scrutinisers, not less and fewer.

    The Lib Dems only agreed to the reduction on the understanding that there would elected representatives in the House of Lords to compensate. When the Tories rebelled, so as to keep their cushy retirement gigs, the Lib Dems, who were looking for an excuse to back out anyway, seized the chance.


    Thanks for the link. It illustrates the multifaceted nature of the economy argument rather nicely.

    Labour certainly landed a few punches a while back with the Cost Of Living Crisis line. However, in the run up to the campaign the momentum on economic arguments seemed to be shifting back to the Tories which was why I was expecting to hear more from them than we have.

    It was also very much part of their original game plan to use an economic recovery story to support their VI. That was why the Telegraph story caught my eye with weak growth data robbing them of the opportunity to play lines like don’t let Labour wreck it.

    It seems the Tories have struggled to find any other positive messages to fill the gap left by a mixed bag of issues on the economy.

  48. Cheers Mikey…. still don’t get how you guys find out these polls so early b4 they are on any website or Twitter account lol

    Can’t see the Yougov figures anywhere but here :)

  49. Last ten YG polls give Labour a 1.3pt lead. Previous ten it was +1.0 lead. Looks like a very slow drift to Labour. If that continues it will give them about 2 point lead by polling day which will give them an good lead as the largest party but probably not enough to do deal with LD. SNP will still be the only two party combo to get us to Maj.

  50. @Chris..try Morley north. No signs for either .. just Tory billboard’s and constant leaflets

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