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.”

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Ashcroft National Poll: Con 28%, Lab 32%, Lib Dem 8%, UKIP 19%, Green 5%

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By Lord Ashcroft

Labour are up two points to 32% in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, taking them into a four-point lead over the Tories, who are down four at 28%. After several days in the headlines UKIP are up two points to 19%, equalling their highest share yet in the ANP. The Liberal Democrats are up one point at 8% and the Greens down two at 5%. (more…)

What really changed over the conference season?

By Lord Ashcroft

Once  again Ukip has seized the political agenda and left the older parties flailing for a response. Douglas Carswell’s spectacular victory in Clacton was at least expected — but Ukip’s quiet insurgency in Heywood and Middleton has shocked the political establishment. If it can come close to snatching a safe seat from under Labour’s nose, where else could it strike?

My own regular national poll — as well as the daily YouGov polls published in The Sun — put the Tories tantalisingly ahead last week. But when it comes to the fundamentals, how much has really changed over the conference season? (more…)

A tale of two by-elections – and why polls are snapshots, not predictions

By Lord Ashcroft

On 28 August Douglas Carswell announced he was leaving the Conservative Party and joining UKIP. Five days later I published a poll of the Clacton constituency that put his support in the resulting by-election at 56%, with the Tories on 25%, Labour on 16%, and the Lib Dems and Others on 2% each: a 32-point Carswell lead.

The results on by-election day six weeks later were remarkably similar to those in my survey. (more…)

Labour set for clear win in Heywood & Middleton

H&M

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour are on course for a comfortable victory in this week’s Heywood & Middleton by-election. In a poll completed at the weekend I found the party on 47%, 19 points ahead of UKIP on 28%, with the Conservatives in third place on 16%. (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 32%, Lab 30%, Lib Dem 7%, UKIP 17%, Green 7%

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By Lord Ashcroft

The Conservatives are ahead in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. Though the Tories are unchanged since last week on 32%, Labour have fallen to 30%, with the Lib Dems down a point on 7% and UKIP static at 17%. (more…)

A good day’s work by the PM – but 218 to go…

Prime Minister David Cameron Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Conservative Party Conference

By Lord Ashcroft

On the first day of the Conservative conference I explained why David Cameron needed to build a coalition of the willing – a band of voters willing to accept further austerity because they believed the results would be worth waiting for. Too many of the people whose support the Tories needed in order to stay in office either thought that any economic recovery would pass them by, or wondered why austerity was still necessary. They needed to understand the end to which austerity was the means and, bluntly, what was in it for them. (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 32%, Lab 32%, LDem 8%, UKIP 17%, Green 4%

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By Lord Ashcroft

The Conservatives are level with Labour in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past turbulent weekend. Other surveys published in recent days have shown no consistent pattern; Labour leads with other pollsters have been up, down and unchanged. In the ANP both main parties remain within the margin of error of their long term average: 30% for the Tories, 34% for Labour. (more…)

What I told the Tories in Birmingham

MAAevent

By Lord Ashcroft

Below is the text of my presentation at the Conservative Party Conference this afternoon setting out my latest research in marginal seats and the Tories’ challenge in building an election-winning coalition of voters. The slides from my presentation are here.

Good afternoon and as the proud proprietor of Conservative Home let me add my welcome to this event which is intended to set the scene and explain the public opinion backdrop to our last party conference before the general election. (more…)

The wider Liberal Democrat battleground

By Lord Ashcroft

In the latest round of constituency research I have returned to the Liberal Democrat battleground. My study of the most marginal seats the Lib Dems were defending against Labour and the Conservatives, published in June, found the party on course to lose most of its most vulnerable seats, with a few notable exceptions. Over the summer I have looked at seats in England where the Lib Dems are defending bigger majorities to see how vulnerable they are against either rival. (more…)