Labour making progress in key marginals, suggests Ashcroft poll

Ed Miliband

The latest batch of constituency polling from Lord Ashcroft suggests that Labour could make key gains in less than a month’s time.

The latest polling looks at constituencies which were also polled by Ashcroft at in the second half of last year. The poll just examined key marginals between Labour and Tories - seats that Labour will need to win in order to become the biggest party, and seats that the Conservatives will need to hold on to in order to remain the largest party.

The constituencies in question, as well as the implied results from the polling are as follows:

  • Blackpool North & Cleveleys - Conservative hold (lead of 5)
  • Gloucester - Conservative hold (lead of 4)
  • Harrow East - Labour gain (lead of 4)
  • Hove - Labour gain (lead of 6)
  • Kingswood - Conservative hold (lead of 9)
  • Loughborough - Conservative hold (lead of 9)
  • Morecambe & Lunesdale - Labour gain (lead of 6)
  • Pendle - Conservative hold (lead of 4)
  • Pudsey - Tie (0)
  • Stockton South - Labour gain (lead of 5)

Respondents were interviewed by telephone between the 28th March and 4th April this year.

Analysis:

The polling suggests that Labour are making progress, sometimes on an impressive level. For example in Hove in 2010 Labour lost out to the seats by a few points, with them getting just 33% of the vote. However, Ashcroft’s poll suggests significant Labour gains as the polling puts the party on 43% in the seat - ahead of the Conservatives.

Furthermore, the polling also suggests that the Conservatives, whilst potentially losing out to seats because of Labour, are gaining in the seats they are suggested to hold. In Blackpool North & Cleveleys the party’s vote share remains unchanged at 42%. In Gloucester the poll suggests the same thing. However, in Kingswood the poll suggests that the party is actually gaining additional support, with the poll putting them on 42% - up two points from 2010. In Loughborough the polling puts them three points up and finally, in Pendle, the poll suggests that the party could gain two points.

These changes are small and could be within the margin of error, but the fact that they are all positive highlights that the Conservatives appear to be doing even better in seats they could end up holding.

What about UKIP? The polls suggest that in these seats UKIP’s vote share will more than certainly increase, but not by enough to come first or second. The poll in Kingswood for example puts them on 15% - a 12% increase from 2010.

What about the Greens? The polling suggests that the Greens are making modest gains across these key marginals, but nowhere near to the same extent as UKIP. The poll suggests that they could go from 0 to 6% in Pudsey and even reach 9% in Hove. Overall, nothing too impressive but a sign that the party is making progress.

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What about the Liberal Democrats? The poll suggest that more bad news lies ahead for the Liberal Democrats. The party does not hold any of these seats so it will not effect the outcome anyway, but losing votes in these areas will affect their overall share of the vote. The polls suggests that they could lose 15 points in Loughborough and an unfortunate 18 points in Hove.

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If the results of the polls are repeated on polling day then Labour could be making their way to victory, however, with the polling suggesting narrow some leads, the Conservatives could still be in with a chance of hold all their seats.

The full results of the polls can be found here.

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