Elections

Parties can’t change in four weeks what they’ve failed to change in five years

Conservative Q

By Lord Ashcroft

My most recent constituency polling has found an increase in support for Labour and the Conservatives – and, in their own battlegrounds, the Liberal Democrats – while the UKIP share has drifted down since last year. Even so, neither of the main parties has established a clear overall lead, either in national polling or in the marginals. So while the evidence is that voters may be focusing more on the parties capable of forming a government, they are not finding the choice becoming any easier or more palatable.

The latest large-scale national polling I have conducted on the impact of the campaign helps explain why (more…)

The voters’ view, with five weeks to go

By Lord Ashcroft

 

My focus groups with undecided voters this week took place in Thurrock and Brentford. Despite the parties’ frenetic activity since the start of the year, for some of our participants the real action seemed hardly to have started: “It feels like the start of a boxing match where they strut round the ring bigging themselves up”. Local street campaigners are out in force, however. While some in the groups confessed to peeking from upstairs curtains to avoid opening the door to a canvasser, there was still an appetite for the traditional doorstep conversation: “You can send me bits of paper all you like, but I’ve got questions. You can’t ask a piece of paper questions. Knock on my door!” (more…)

Why aren’t the Tories running away with the election?

By Lord Ashcroft

 

This article was first published in The Independent.

 

“I don’t understand it,” said a chap in one of my focus groups a few days ago. “People think David Cameron is pretty good, and they think Ed Miliband is a muppet. So why is it so close?” Why indeed. It is a question to which books and theses will be devoted in the months to come. But I think we already have a good idea of the answer (more…)

The campaign state of play – plus latest marginals

Lord Ashcroft Pollsevent in Westminster,

By Lord Ashcroft

Below is the text of the polling presentation I gave in London this evening, including my latest national poll findings and new results from marginal seats in England and Scotland. Scroll down to find the presentation slides, marginals report, and full data tables.

Good evening and welcome. If you have ever wondered what a pollster does to celebrate his birthday, now you know. Somebody kindly asked me this morning if this was the big “four-O”, and I was compelled to admit this estimate was outside the margin of error.

This evening I will be unveiling my latest polling, both nationally and in the marginals, and giving my overview of where I think we are in the campaign that will end just nine weeks tomorrow (more…)

Watch my Sky News interview on polling and the marginals

By Lord Ashcroft

Yesterday I was interviewed about my polling on Sky News by Joey Jones. You can watch the interview here:

 

Click here to see full story on Sky News

Nigel Farage is right – after Rochester all general election bets are off

By Lord Ashcroft

This article first appeared in the The Guardian

 

It is not often that Nigel Farage finds himself at the centre of a political consensus, but he spoke for Westminster in his analysis of what Ukip’s Rochester victory meant for the general election. “All bets are off,” he declared. “The whole thing’s up in the air.” This has not stopped the political classes fretting over the weekend about What It All Means. (more…)

Don’t blame it on the coalition – how the parties have failed the test set in 2010

PoliticosGuide

By Lord Ashcroft

This essay appears in The Politicos Guide To The 2015 General Election

 

Let’s start with a quiz. Shortly after the last election, which clown wrote this?

“Even if the stars had aligned in such a way as to make a minority Conservative government a real possibility, the choice David Cameron made to enter a coalition would still have been the right one, both for the country and for the Conservative Party.”

(more…)

What I told the ConHome conference about my battleground poll

ConfPic

By Lord Ashcroft

Here is the text of my speech to the Conservative Home Spring Conference this afternoon in which I discussed the detail of my latest battleground poll. The slides from my presentation are here.

—–

Good afternoon, and as the proud proprietor of Conservative Home let me add my welcome to our second annual Spring Conference.

As you will know by now, I am here to tell you what is really going on. (more…)

UKIP’s Euro-voters are now up for grabs

By Lord Ashcroft

Tomorrow night’s European Parliament election results will bring a frenzy of analysis and speculation. Why did so many people vote UKIP? Who did they support before? What do they care about? And most of all, what will they do when it comes to the next election?

As we pollsters say: you can guess, or you can find out. In the 12 hours after the polls closed on Thursday night I surveyed over 4,000 people who took part in the Euro election. My poll doesn’t try to predict the result – that would be illegal before voting has finished in all European countries – but it helps explain why voters did what they did, and what they might do next. (more…)

One year to go

Basic RGB

By Lord Ashcroft

Towards the end of the last parliament a cartoon showed a lady asking her husband, “Is it possible to be sick of an election before it’s started?” Many will have the same thought long before – 365 days from today – we choose our next government. (more…)