By Lord Ashcroft
For most of the summer Labour’s poll lead has been in single digits. Though enough for victory at a general election, this is hardly a comfortable margin for Ed Miliband at this stage of the parliament – particularly since, as I have found in my previous research, Labour’s support is far from firm.
But as we know, the picture is seldom uniform across the country; the national headline figures can sometimes mask what is happening in marginal seats where elections are won and lost. In the last few weeks I have polled nearly 13,000 voters in the 40 Conservative seats with the smallest majorities: 32 of which the party is defending against Labour, and 8 where the Liberal Democrats came second in 2010. (more…)