Ashcroft polling shows Labour making gains in key marginals

17th March, 2015 3:10 pm

Lord Ashcroft has released a batch of polling this afternoon that revisits 8 marginal seats he’s polled in the past. All but one are Tory-held and Ashcroft’s forecast spells some good news for Labour.

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It looks like the party are making some significant gains in these marginals – in most of these cases building upon the small leads they had over the Tories when Ashcroft last did this polling in October 2014.

But before we get to the positive news for Labour, let’s get the bad out of the way. In one constituency – Worcester – the Labour lead has transformed into a Tory one. It’s gone from Labour riding ahead on 2 points in October last year to the Tories overtaking this with a 6 point lead.

Meanwhile, in Croydon Central, the London Tory-held seat where the Labour lead is at its smallest, is down to 4 points from 6. The current Tory MP is Gavin Barwell and it seems given Labour’s lead, although it’s narrowed, he’s still keen to distance himself from his party.

In South Swindon, the two parties are still level pegging. Current MP, Robert Buckland won this seat from Labour in 2010 by around 3,500 votes. There’s clearly still all to play for.

Now on to the good news for Labour.

One of the standout leads is in Southampton Itchen. Although it’s currently a Labour-held seat, this was a tied constituency in October. Now Labour’s candidate Rowenna Davis is surging ahead with an 8 point lead.

Similarly, in the Tory-held seat, Chester, Labour’s PPC Chris Matheson has built steadily on his one point lead over opponent Stephen Mosley. He’s now well ahead – with an 11 point lead.

Labour have increased their leads in the remaining 3 constituencies – Wirral West 1 to 5 points (which means Esther McVey could lose her seat),  Nuneaton 3 to 5 points, and Halesowen and Rowley Regis from 1 to 2 points.

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