How Scotland voted, and why

By Lord Ashcroft

Overnight I have polled more than 2,000 people who voted in the Scottish referendum. The results help us understand what happened, and why.

The results indicate that the No campaign won among men (by a six-point margin) as well as women (by twelve points). As expected, older voters were the most decisively opposed to independence, with nearly three quarters (73%) of those aged 65 or over voting No.

Also not surprisingly, Conservative voters were the most staunchly Unionist, with 95% voting to reject independence. (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 33%, Lab 33%, Lib Dem 9%, UKIP 14%, Green 6%

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour and the Conservatives are level on 33% in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted between Friday and Sunday. The result reflects a tightening found by other pollsters in recent days: Populus found the Labour lead narrowing from four points last week to one point today, and on Friday Ipsos MORI put the Tories a point ahead.

It is worth remembering, though, that we should not pay too much attention to individual surveys or movements between one poll and the next. (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 28%, Lab 35%, Lib Dem 8%, UKIP 18%, Green 6%

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour lead by seven points in the latest Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. The party is up two points since the last ANP at the beginning of August to 35%; the Conservatives are down two at 28%, and the other parties are unchanged: UKIP on 18%, the Liberal Democrats on 8% and the Greens on 6%. (more…)

UKIP 32 points ahead in Clacton

By Lord Ashcroft

The Prime Minister’s birthday this year is unlikely to be his happiest, but at least he knows what he is going to get. My poll on the Clacton by-election, to be held on 9 October, the day David Cameron turns forty-eight, has found UKIP on 56 per cent, 32 points ahead of the Conservatives on 24 per cent. Labour were on 16 per cent, and the Liberal Democrats and Others on 2 per cent each.

More than half (59 per cent) of those who voted Conservative at the last general election said they would switch to UKIP, as did 45 per cent of 2010 Labour voters. Most of the Clacton electorate, including nearly nine out of ten UKIP supporters and more than half of Tories, expected Douglas Carswell to hold the seat for his new party. (more…)

Swing to Labour extends deeper into Tory territory

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…)

Uxbridge backs Boris – but local voters divided on being both MP and Mayor

By Lord Ashcroft

The voters of Uxbridge & South Ruislip welcome the prospect of Boris Johnson as their next MP, according to my latest poll. My survey of 1,000 residents of the constituency, completed on Thursday, found that when asked which party they would vote for in a general election tomorrow, 42% named the Conservatives, 28% Labour and 19% UKIP: a 14-point Tory lead.

But when asked how they would vote if Boris Johnson were their Conservative candidate, the margin extended to 29 points: the Tory share grew by ten points to 52%, with Labour down five to 23% and UKIP down three to 16%. (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 30%, Lab 33%, Lib Dem 8%, UKIP 18%, Green 6%

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour lead by three points in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. Vote shares were Labour 33% (down one point on last week), Conservatives 30% (down two), Liberal Democrats 8% (down one), UKIP 18% (up four) and the Greens unchanged on 6%. All changes except the UKIP score were within the margin of error.

The three-point margin reflects those published yesterday by YouGov and Opinium, but with lower scores for both Labour and the Tories. A smaller two-party combined vote share has been a regular pattern in the ANP; we will see whether it continues into the autumn and the start of the long campaign. (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 32%, Lab 34%, Lib Dem 9%, UKIP 14%, Green 6%

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour’s lead by two points in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted between Friday and Sunday. Labour were down one point on 34% with the Conservatives up five on 32%, the Liberal Democrats up two to 9% and UKIP down three to 14%. The narrower Labour advantage reflects that of other polls published over the weekend.

It is important to see the change in the Conservative vote share in the context of the longer term trend: though the Tory figures have moved around more than those of other parties in the ANP, they have been around 30%, within the margin of error, for eight weeks, while Labour remain firmly in the mid-30s. (more…)

Con-Lab battleground: swing from Tories drops as UKIP pick up Labour votes

By Lord Ashcroft

In my latest round of battleground research I have returned to the fourteen Conservative-held seats with Labour in second place that I first polled in the spring. The most striking feature is that rising support for UKIP has eroded the swing to Labour. Though the Tories are down a point on their share in March and April in these seats, Labour are down by three points and UKIP are up five.

There are three points worth noting about this. First, the most immediately striking effect of this shift is that UKIP now lead in two seats – Thurrock and Thanet South. They have also jumped to second in Great Yarmouth, where the Tories are now ahead, having been behind Labour in my previous round of polling. (more…)

Ashcroft National Poll: Con 27%, Lab 35%, Lib Dem 7%, UKIP 17%, Green 7%

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour’s lead has risen to eight points in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. The widening margin, following a similar shift in the Populus poll published this morning, stems mainly from a five-point fall in the Conservative share to 27%. Other movements are within the margin of error: Labour are down one point to 35%, the Lib Dems unchanged at 7%, UKIP up three to 17%, and the Greens up one point to 7%.

As ever, the poll should be seen as a snapshot in the context of longer term trends. (more…)