‘The worst that could happen? World War Three’: my Ashcroft In America focus groups in North Carolina

By Lord Ashcroft

Until 2008, North Carolina was as close to a sure thing for the Republicans in a presidential election as you could get. The state backed the GOP candidate for seven elections in a row, from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, only for Barack Obama to capture it for the Democrats in his first run but lose the state four years later to Mitt Romney, albeit by one of the narrowest margins in the country. (more…)

Ashcroft In America podcast – Episode 3 – North Carolina

By Lord Ashcroft

In the latest edition of the Ashcroft In America podcast I interview veteran Democrat campaign operative Joe Trippi; we hear how undecideds reacted to the first presidential debate; African American voters reflect on the election and life under President Obama; RNC strategist Ashley Bell tells us how the party is reaching out to the black community; and local political reporter Jim Morrill sums up the state of play in the crucial swing state of North Carolina.


Ashcroft In America: Green Bay

By Lord Ashcroft

Click here for the new episode of the Ashcroft In America podcast.

On a tour of critical states in a presidential election, it may seem eccentric to begin in a place which has been carried by the same party every time since 1984. The last Republican candidate the people of Wisconsin voted to send to the White House was Ronald Reagan. But there is a good reason to be here: Donald Trump’s campaign believes Wisconsin lies squarely on their path to victory. If he can hold onto all the states Mitt Romney won four years ago – plus the Midwest and Rustbelt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin – he will reach the magic number of 270 votes in the electoral college, and we will be welcoming President Trump. We thought we had better find out what is going on here.

To do so, the Ashcroft In America team have come to Green Bay (more…)

Ashcroft In America podcast – Episode 2 – Wisconsin

By Lord Ashcroft

In this edition of the Ashcroft In America podcast I interview Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and CNN commentator Margaret Hoover; we hear from the Washington Bureau Chief of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a member of the state legislature; and the voters of Green Bay, Wisconsin, share their thoughts on the presidential election.


The launch of Ashcroft in America – and my new podcast

By Lord Ashcroft

This year’s presidential election is the most exciting, and certainly the most extraordinary, that I can remember. Undoubtedly there is more interest than usual on this side of the Atlantic.

That is why I am launching Ashcroft In America – a major research project to hear from the voters who will decide whether to put Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the White House.

Over the next seven weeks, starting next week, my polling team will visit seven states that will help determine the outcome in November. Our focus groups with different kinds of voters will explore how they see the candidates, the parties, the issues at stake and the choice before them.

I will write about our findings here every Friday. In addition, you will be able to enjoy the Ashcroft In America podcast – with “straight from the horse’s mouth” focus group quotes, analysis from the Lord Ashcroft Polls team, and interviews with eminent figures from the American political world (more…)

‘Well, You Did Ask… Why The UK Voted To Leave The EU’

By Lord Ashcroft

My book on the EU referendum, ‘Well, You Did Ask… Why The UK Voted To Leave The EU’, is available now from Biteback Publishing.

‘Well, You Did Ask…’ draws on two years of research by Lord Ashcroft Polls. It explores what voters made of the issues, the campaigns, the personalities, the claims and counterclaims, and how they came to make the most momentous political decision of our time.

We look in detail at the differences in outlook between those who voted to leave and those who voted to remain – differences which will have a real bearing on the future of our politics. And as the country sets about negotiating a new relationship with Europe, it offers what I hope is a colourful and revealing look at what our continental neighbours think about Britain and the British.

To think clearly about what the referendum result means, we first need to understand how it came about. (more…)

The New Blueprint: The Conservative Agenda In Post-Brexit Britain

By Lord Ashcroft

A year after the coalition government was formed I embarked upon a research exercise which I called Project Blueprint. It looked at how the Conservatives could win an overall majority, and rested on the premise that if the party did not want to govern in coalition, it would need to build a coalition of voters big enough to allow it to rule on its own.

Just over a year since the 2015 election – and five years since the first instalment of Project Blueprint – the political landscape seems at first glance to be almost unrecognisably different. We have a new government led by a new Prime Minister, with no opposition in sight – whether from Labour, who are engaged in a bizarre drama of their own, from the Liberal Democrats, who have all but vanished, or from UKIP which, having accomplished its founding mission, will need to articulate a new purpose for itself. Oh yes, and the UK has voted to leave the EU.

But if the context is different, the Tories’ political mission is the same (more…)