Conservatives take big lead in new Ashcroft poll

David Cameron Gestures

Monday’s poll by Lord Ashcroft has given David Cameron’s party an impressive 6% lead. But is it enough?

The poll puts the Conservatives on 34% and Labour on 28%. Such a result - if repeated in the general election would be almost a repeat of the 2010 election, in which the Tories got 36% and Labour got 29%.

The Conservative’s 34% is up 4% from the previous Ashcroft poll, and Ed Miliband’s party’s 28% is down 3% on the previous poll.

The poll also puts UKIP on 16% (down 3%), the Lib Dems on 8% (no change) and the Greens on 8% (up 3%).

The lead will be seen as good news for the Conservative party, especially now that it is less than four months until the general election. However, the poll is just a snapshot of the current state of affairs in the UK politics. Additionally, the shares for the largest two parties might not be perfectly accurate due to the margins of errors.

Writing about the poll, Lord Ashcroft said that the poll is:

“subject to a margin of error of 3% – meaning the Conservative share could be low enough, and the Labour score high enough, for the parties to be tied on 31%.”

This suggests that even though the Conservatives have a lead, it’s not large enough to be considered really positive news for the party.

On the other hand, Ashcroft suggests that:

“Alternatively, we could be seeing the start of a shift in opinion as the choice looms larger at the start of an election year. Let us see what future results tell us.”

The poll could just be a sign that voters are thinking more positively towards the idea of seeing David Cameron in Number Ten another five years.

The new poll also suggests the most people think the country is going in the wrong direction: 40% think the country is going in the wrong direction, whilst 52% think the country is moving in the wrong direction.

Overall, whilst the poll puts the Conservatives ahead, it confirms that the race to Number 10 is still too close to call.

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1,002 adults were interviewed for the poll between the 9th and 11th of January this year. The full results can be found here: