Labour-SNP heading for majority - poll projection

Houses of Parliament

The latest Guardian projection has the combined Labour and SNP share of seats on 326. This is an all time high in our daily series – and more significantly, it’s a majority.

The combined Conservative-Lib Dem share has dropped below 300 seats, and even by co-opting all possible sources of support - Ukip’s four seats and the DUP’s nine - David Cameron is, as things stand, well short of the bare minimum he would need to win a confidence vote in parliament.

This is all because Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that the SNP would vote down a Conservative government, and Labour would all but certainly do the same.

Cameron’s challenge becomes even steeper if we add the projected one seat for the Greens, and three each for Plaid Cymru and the SDLPto the “anti-Tory” tally, taking the total to 333 seats.

Looking at the details, Labour are projected to win 272 seats, the Tories 269 and the SNP 54 of Scotland’s 59 seats. The Lib Dems are projected to hold on to 29 constituencies.

Poll projection

All this follows the release of Lord Ashcroft’s latest batch of constituency polls in 10 marginals that had not been polled before.

As with previous Ashcroft constituency polls, there isn’t a clear pattern and the overall swing across all the seats is broadly in line with national polls.

That said, in none of the three seats in which Labour is ahead, and would gain from the Conservatives – Crewe and Nantwich, Finchley and Golders Green, and Milton Keynes South – was the gain implied by a uniform national swing (UNS).

The other side of the coin of course means that there are other seats in the Ashcroft list which the Tories lead and would hold at a margin from Labour greater than that implied by a UNS.

As my colleague Andrew Sparrow highlights, the different seats are disparately listed in Labour’s ranking of targets:

These are constituencies the Ashcroft poll suggests Labour would gain:

Milton Keynes South (69th)
Crewe and Nantwich (86th)
Finchley and Golders Green (89th)

And these are the ones the Conservatives would hold:

Harlow (81st)
Dover (75th)
Dudley South (74th)
North East Somerset (72nd)
Cleethorpes (71st)

Ashcroft also found two seats tied: Rossendale and Darwen (70th), and South Ribble (77th).

In his previous crop of polling in Conservative-Labour marginals released earlier this month, he returned to 10 seats he had previously surveyed last October.

In nine of the seats the figures showed a consolidation of the previous numbers, with both parties increasing their lead where they were still ahead and Pudsey remaining a tie.

In the one seat, Harrow East, the result changed, with a three point Tory lead became a four point Labour one.

None of the figures taken alone are game changers, but the one factor to consider about all of these seats is that they are all Conservative-held constituencies. That means that for each one the Tories lose to Labour, they need to make two gains elsewhere.

With Clegg’s party already quite squeezed - and any gain from the Lib Dems not adding to the total coalition arithmetic - and Ukip only projected to win a handful of seats, the Tories need to limit their direct losses to Labour.

To do this, the Conservatives need lift-off in the polls, but with less than 25 days to election day they’re just about tied with Labour.

Cameron’s road to remaining in Downing Street is getting narrower by the day.

Powered by article was written by Alberto Nardelli, for on Tuesday 14th April 2015 12.29 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010