Swing from Lib Dems threatens Clegg and Huhne

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By Lord Ashcroft

Though the Liberal Democrats achieved 24% of the vote in Great Britain at the general election, no poll since late June has put Nick Clegg’s party above 18%. Some have put them at less than half of their 6 May vote share. In July I published research conducted in marginal constituencies showing that 30 of the Lib Dems’ 57 seats were vulnerable to the Conservatives. More recently I have looked into whether the apparent meltdown would have the same effect on senior Liberal Democrats in the coalition. The answer is that their prominence has not made them immune from the decline in support for their party.

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Tories must not expect Miliband to leap obligingly into every trap

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By Lord Ashcroft

Ed Miliband’s election as Labour leader prompted some Conservatives, and even some seasoned political columnists, to declare that the next election was now in the bag for the Tories, despite the difficult cuts that have dominated discussion at last week’s conference. Many assume that, while his brother was ready to appeal to the moderate voters who deserted Labour in May, Ed’s Left-leaning instincts and union ties will inevitably lead him further from the voters he needs to connect with. I don’t think it will be as simple as that.

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