Lord Ashcroft has released his latest round of polling, looking at ten competitive Tory-Labour seats. In all of the constituencies, Ashcroft has reported swings to Labour, ranging from 0.5 per cent to seven per cent. At present, five of the seats are set to remain with the Conservatives: Cleethorpes, Dover, Dudley South, Harlow and North East Somerset. Some of the Tory leads are considerable: Rob Halfon in Harlow has a ten point lead, while Jacob Rees-Mogg in North East Somerset has a 16 point lead. Use the interactive chart above to see all the latest polls for each seat.
Equally, the other half of the seats Ashcroft has polled are looking beyond reach for the Conservatives., Labour is currently on track to gain Crewe and Nantwich, Finchley & Golders Green and Milton Keynes South. South Ribble and Rossendale & Darween in Lancashire both have five per cent swings from Conservative to Labour but they are currently tied. In his analysis, Ashcroft summarises this research by saying he has found ‘the Tories consolidating in most seats where they had been ahead in previous rounds, while Labour had extended their leads where they had been doing well last year’.
It does appear that Labour’s marginal seat ground operation is more effective. In Cleethorpes for example, 61 per cent of voters said they had been contacted by Labour, compared to 38 per cent for the Tories. In the two tied seats, Labour had contacted 76 per cent of voters in Rossendale, compared to 56 per cent for Tories, and similarly in South Ribble, 59 per cent had heard from Labour vs. 45 per cent from the Conservatives. Ashcroft’s recent polling in marginals has continued to show that the Tories are failing to make much progress in seats they held in 2010 but have since swung to Labour. The Conservatives need to hope that their ground operation will do better during the final few weeks of the campaign if they have any hope of retaining these marginals.