Reflections on the election polls – and creating a Conservative Party people need not be shy about supporting

By Lord Ashcroft

This is the text of a speech I gave last night at the Post-Election Conference, jointly hosted by Conservative Home, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Business for Britain and the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Good evening. You might think it’s a bit much to kick off this post-election conference with, of all people, a pollster. If so, I can understand your scepticism. After last week I’m not sure whether it’s worse to be a pollster or a Liberal Democrat. But as I will explain, it would be a mistake to dismiss the polls out of hand, or to think there is nothing we can learn from them. (more…)

Why did people vote as they did? My post-vote poll

By Lord Ashcroft

I have polled more than 12,000 voters who voted in the general election. I wanted to know when people decided, what factors had most influenced their vote, what issues were most important to the country and their families, how they see the economy and the future of austerity, and how the parties’ voters had voted in previous elections. The results are here:

Final Ashcroft National Poll: Con 33%, Lab 33%, Lib Dem 10%, UKIP 11%, Green 6%

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By Lord Ashcroft

My 3,000-sample final national snapshot before the election, with fieldwork conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, has produced a tie. Here are the details: (more…)

Voting tactically has become more fraught in the new political order

By Lord Ashcroft

This piece was first published in The Independent

A surprising number of people are candid enough to admit that they voted Liberal Democrat in previous elections because they simply could not decide between Labour and the Tories. Others like the party’s policies or, more often, its local MP.

But in their strongholds, the Lib Dems have owed a good deal of their support to their status as the most credible local alternative to the Conservatives. Indeed, in most recent elections, tactical voting has nearly always meant backing the Lib Dems to get (or keep) the Tories out. Since the Iraq war, the Lib Dems have also attracted left-leaning voters looking for a safely like-minded alternative to Labour.

So imagine their surprise and delight as the recipient of their carefully calibrated votes strode cheerfully into the Downing Street rose garden with David Cameron (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 32%, Lab 30%, Lib Dem 11%, UKIP 12%, Green 7%

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By Lord Ashcroft

The Conservatives lead by two points in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. The Tory lead is down by four since last week, with Labour unchanged on 30%. The Liberal Democrats are up two points at 11%, UKIP up one at 12%, the Greens unchanged at 7% and the SNP up one at 5%. (more…)

Mixed fortunes in my final round of marginals

By Lord Ashcroft

After more than a year and nearly a quarter of a million telephone interviews, we have reached the final round of my general election constituency polling. The last ten surveys contain mixed news for all parties and some noteworthy results (more…)

My speech to Turcan Connell and Charlotte Street Partners in Edinburgh

By Lord Ashcroft

This is the text of a speech I gave last night in Edinburgh. I was introduced by Chris Deerin.

Thank you, Chris, for that kind welcome, and can I say what an honour it is to be introduced by Scotland’s Columnist Of The Year? Those of you who read Chris’s work will know that the accolade he received at the Scottish Press Awards was thoroughly well deserved, and that his writing is always brilliant – provocative, honest, thoughtful and original.

While I’m at it, I might as well add that such is his incisive grasp of public affairs, any of you who are not retaining the services of his company should have your people call his people first thing in the morning. (more…)

South Swindon, Thanet South and Sheffield Hallam

By Lord Ashcroft

Today’s batch of marginal snapshots includes three of the most intriguing and closely contested seats of this general election campaign.

South Swindon is a very tight Conservative-Labour marginal which I have polled twice before, finding a tie both times (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 36%, Lab 30%, Lib Dem 9%, UKIP 11%, Green 7%

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By Lord Ashcroft

The Conservatives lead Labour by 36% to 30% in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. The Tories are up two points since last week and Labour are unchanged. The Liberal Democrats are down a point at 9%, UKIP down two at 11%, the Greens up three at 7% and the SNP down two at 4%. The Conservatives have now led in six of the last eight rounds, and this week’s finding equals the highest the party has yet recorded in the ANP – though the figures are within the margin of error of a much closer result (more…)

Are UKIP falling back in their target seats?

By Lord Ashcroft

My latest round of constituency polling covers four seats in which I have previously found UKIP to be doing well. These include two seats where I found the party in second place to the Tories (Castle Point and Great Yarmouth), and two where I found them second to Labour (Cannock Chase and Great Grimsby) (more…)