By Lord Ashcroft
In previous rounds of battleground research I have looked at the twelve most marginal Conservative-held seats with Labour in second place, and the twelve Labour-held seats with the smallest majorities over the Tories. Last month I re-surveyed the Conservative seats, many of which look competitive despite the overall swing to Labour.
The same could not be said of most of the Labour territory included in the first round, where I found Labour leads of up to 21 points. In my latest round of battleground polling I have therefore concentrated on the four Tory targets in which I found the smallest leads in the spring: Birmingham Edgbaston, Bolton West, Hampstead & Kilburn and Southampton Itchen.
Instead of returning to constituencies where Labour were comfortable I have looked at the wider battleground – the second tier of Labour targets with bigger Conservative majorities (more…)