Feltham & Heston: should Labour be doing better?

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By Lord Ashcroft

Labour are 22 points ahead in the Feltham & Heston by-election, according to my latest poll. With a 52% vote share in the week before polling day, Seema Malhotra seems to be on course for what looks like a convincing victory.

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The ChEx Factor

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By Lord Ashcroft

The ChEx Factor: Economic Leadership In Hard Times explores how voters see the economy, what most concerns them, how they think the government is handling things, and what – if anything – would be different if Labour were in power. In this research I have also taken the opportunity to find out what voters think about the Chancellor and his Labour shadow, Ed Balls.

In the Autumn Statement, voters will be more impressed to hear honest gloom from Mr Osborne than a cheerful assessment that seems to deny the evidence of their own eyes. Few believe there is much that he, or any government, could do today to overcome the economic crisis.

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Turn down the volume on Europe or lose the next election

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By Lord Ashcroft

If there is one thing that unites Conservatives it is the desire to win the next general election outright. Certain things follow from this. The first is that we need more votes at the next election than we received at the last. This means attracting people who voted for a different party last year. This in turn imposes two requirements: to address the things they care about most, and to show that we are changing the things that put them off voting Conservative in the past.

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Project Blueprint Phase 2

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By Lord Ashcroft

Project Blueprint, launched in May 2011, aimed to examine the state of the Conservative voting coalition and to help identify what the party needed to do to achieve an overall majority at the next election. Phase 2 of the project reviews progress towards that goal. It looks at the government’s performance in the eyes both of those who voted Conservative in 2010, and those who considered doing so but decided not to.

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Poll of marginal Conservative seats

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By Lord Ashcroft

In August 2011 I conducted a poll of 41 marginal Conservative-held seats to find out whether the static national polls were hiding a more nuanced picture on this crucial battleground. The results constitute mixed news for the Conservative Party – the findings are more encouraging for Tories where the Liberal Democrats are in second place than in constituencies where Labour are the main opponents.

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The Leadership Factor

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By Lord Ashcroft

In The Leadership Factor I have looked in depth at how voters see each of the three party leaders, and the extent to which each leader is an asset or a liability for their party – a draw or a drag.

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Project Blueprint

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By Lord Ashcroft

Following David Cameron’s first anniversary as Prime Minister, comment has been dominated by the state of the coalition government. To me, this is intriguing but secondary. What matters to me is not so much the coalition between the parties, but how to create the coalition of voters who will elect a Conservative government with an overall majority. The purpose of Project Blueprint is to help work out how to build this election-winning Conservative voting coalition.

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‘Fairer votes’? Remember Tiger Hewson!

By Lord Ashcroft

The campaign to change the electoral system likes to call itself “Yes To Fairer Votes”. Under the Alternative Vote, they say, “your next MP would have to aim to get more than 50% of the vote to be sure of winning. At present they can be handed power with just one vote in three”. One vote in three. That doesn’t sound very democratic, does it? Yet those who want to change our voting system to make it fairer should be careful what they wish for, and would do well to reflect on history. In particular they should heed the case of “Tiger” Hewson.

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Crime, Punishment & The People

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By Lord Ashcroft

Whether or not they voted Conservative in 2010, most voters expected a Conservative-led government to be tougher on crime, and more effective in dealing with law and order, than its predecessor. When, after the election, the coalition government began to talk about a new approach that placed more emphasis on community sentencing and rehabilitation and less emphasis on prison, I decided to find out whether this was likely to restore confidence in the criminal justice system, or undermine it. Research among the general public, victims of crime, and police officers has produced striking results.

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The Daily Mail and its brand

By Lord Ashcroft

If you were sitting in a waiting room, and all the day’s newspapers were spread before you, which one would you pick up and read first? And if you were to ask, say, ten thousand people the same question, what do you think would be the most popular answer?

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