LONDON, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The swing from the Conservatives to Labour in marginal seats has fallen as UKIP are winning more votes from Ed Miliband's party, according to the latest research from Lord Ashcroft.
His poll of 14,000 voters in 14 marginal Tory-held seats with Labour in second place, conducted between 18 June and 16 July, found the Conservatives down 1 point since the spring, when these seats were last surveyed. Labour were down 3 points and UKIP up 5 points.
The shift has put UKIP in the lead in two of the seats (Thanet South and Thurrock), and in second place in Great Yarmouth, which the Tories are currently on course to hold in a close three-way contest. Labour are ahead in the remaining 11 constituencies.
Since the 2010 general election, the Labour vote in this group of seats as a whole is unchanged at 38%. The Conservatives are down 9 points at 31%, while UKIP are up 17 points to 21% across the battleground. The Liberal Democrats have fallen 11 points to 4%. The survey finds the party at risk of losing its deposit in 10 of these 14 seats.
The changes amount to a swing of 4.5% from the Tories to Labour since 2010 - enough for Labour to win 53 Conservative-held seats if repeated across the board at the election. Combined with seats Labour could win from the Liberal Democrats, this would be enough for a small Labour majority in the House of Commons. However, uniform swings look unlikely: swings in this survey range from 2% (Stockton South) to 9% (Wolverhampton South West).
Despite Labour's 7-point lead in voting intention, fewer than 3 in 10 voters in these seats - and only 64% of Labour supporters - said they would rather see Ed Miliband as Prime Minister than David Cameron.
The research includes the following findings:
- Voting intention: LAB 38% (no change since 2010), CON 31% (-9), LIB DEMS 4% (-11), UKIP 21% (+17).
- UKIP vote shares ranged from 9% (Hendon) to 36% (Thurrock). UKIP were in the lead in Thurrock (by 6 points over Labour) and Thanet South (with 33%, 4 points over Labour and the Conservatives).
- The Lib Dems' vote share was down 11 points to 4%. Only 20% of 2010 Lib Dem voters naming a party said they would vote Lib Dem at the next general election. 36% said they would vote Labour, 17% UKIP, 13% Conservative and 11% Green.
- 29% said they were satisfied with the job David Cameron was doing as Prime Minister. A further 30% said they were dissatisfied but would rather he was PM than Ed Miliband; 29% said they would prefer Ed Miliband to be PM. Only 64% of Labour voters (and only 53% of those switching to Labour from another party) said they would rather see Miliband as PM. Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) of Conservative defectors to UKIP said they would prefer Cameron.
- Just over half said they expected the economy to do well over the next year both for the country as a whole (57%) and for themselves and their families (59%). UKIP voters were the most pessimistic, being evenly divided on both questions.
- 36% said they wanted the next election to result in a Labour government, 29% a Conservative government, 10% a Labour-Lib Dem coalition and 9% a Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. Lib Dem voters were divided as to whether they wanted to see the Tories in government (49%) or Labour (47%). The same was true of UKIP voters overall (42% v. 39%), though 63% of Conservative defectors to UKIP said their preferred result was a Conservative government.
- Local campaign activity had increased slightly from the previous round of polling. 22% said they had had literature, direct mail, visits or telephone calls from the Conservatives (up 3% since the spring), 21% from Labour (up 5%), 8% from the Lib Dems (up 4%) and 18% from UKIP (up 11%).
Commenting on the results, Lord Ashcroft said:
"The Conservatives are clearly going to find it tough to hold on to their most marginal constituencies, even though Labour have made no headway in these seats since the last election. While UKIP remain a bigger problem for the Tories, they are impeding Labour's progress too. But like all polls, this is a snapshot not a prediction and there are still ten months to go."
Notes to Editors
- 14,004 adults were interviewed by telephone in 14 constituencies between 18 June and 16 July 2014. Results have been weighted to be representative of all adults in those constituencies.
- The survey was conducted in the following constituencies: Amber Valley, Broxtowe, Cardiff North, Hendon, Great Yarmouth, Lancaster & Fleetwood, Morecambe & Lunesdale, North Warwickshire, Thanet South, Thurrock, Sherwood, Stockton South, Waveney, Wolverhampton South West.
- Full data for each constituency and the battleground as a whole is available at http://www.LordAshcroftPolls.com.
- This is the fourth in Lord Ashcroft's series of battleground polls. Details of his previous poll of Conservative-Labour marginals (24 May), Conservative-Lib Dem marginals (19 June), and Lib Dem-Labour marginals (1 July) are available at LordAshcroftPolls.com.
- Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is an international businessman, author and philanthropist. He is founder and Chairman of the Board of Crimestoppers, a member of the Board of the Imperial War Museum, Chairman of the Trustees of Ashcroft Technology Academy, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University and Treasurer of the International Democrat Union. From 2005 to 2010 he was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.
- His political books and research papers include Smell The Coffee (2005), Minority Verdict, What Future For Labour?, What Future For The Liberal Democrats? (2010), Crime, Punishment & The People, Project Blueprint, The Leadership Factor (2011), Degrees of Separation, The Armed Forces & Society, Blue Collar Tories, Project Red Alert, They're Thinking What We're Thinking: Understanding The UKIP Temptation (2012), What Are The Liberal Democrats For?, Marginal Territory, Are You Serious: Boris, The Tories And The Voters; Small Island: Public Opinion And The Politics Of Immigration (2013), Cameron's Caledonian Conundrum (2013), and Europe on Trial (2014).