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


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.”


What I told the ConHome conference about my battleground poll


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…)

Not being a party of government helped UKIP yesterday. Will it in 2015?

By Lord Ashcroft

Well that could have been worse. A lot better too, certainly, but let’s keep things in perspective. The UKIP performance is by far the most striking feature of the local election results, and I will come to that, but there are other things to observe.

First, there is nothing remarkable about a governing party losing ground (though there is also no guarantee that it will be regained in time). The overall result, if not the precise losses, could have been predicted the day after the 2010 election. (more…)

Britons still don’t believe that the Tories are on their side

By Lord Ashcroft

This article was first published in the Financial Times

There is a ritual, and even a specialised vocabulary, for midterm local elections in the UK. In advance, they are always a “crucial test” of the government’s popularity, and the opposition’s ability to turn poll ratings into votes. Next comes expectation management, when incumbent parties brief that they will lose practically all their councillors, and the challengers claim they expect to gain hardly any, in the forlorn hope of bamboozling political reporters.