Conservative Diary

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Two polls from the Con-Lab marginals and Lib Dem targets

I have thought for some time that national opinion polls are not going to be as useful at they once were in predicting the final election outcome.

Apart from individual circumstances and personalities in individual seats, you have to deal with tactical voting, more fringe candidates than ever confusing the picture and, probably most significantly, the Lib Dems being seriously in play in only a small proportion of the seats across the country as compared with the Conservatives and Labour.

As such, polls concentrating on the battle in the seats that will decide the election are arguably of more significance.

Today we have two of those.

Firstly, there was the ICM poll in the Guardian of the top 42 seats being targeted by the Lib Dems, where they need a swing of up to 6% to take the seats.

This gave the numbers:

Lib Dems - 39% (+4)
Conservatives - 35% (-1)
Labour - 18% (-5)

Comparisons above are with the 2005 result and show a Tory to Lib Dem swing of 2.5% and a Labour to Lib Dem swing of 4.5%. 

Anthony Wells' analysis at UK Polling Report suggests that the Lib Dems are doing worse in these targets than in the national polls, which doesn't altogether surprise me.

They have made a serious effort to get as much potential Lib Dem support in these seats at the last couple of elections, and there clearly isn't much more support to find. However, in the country at large there are literally hundreds of seats which are historically straight Lab-Con fights where they have never tried to find support. They may be finding more of it in those kinds of seats now - but are unlikely to come near getting enough votes to win such seats.

Secondly today, we have Ipsos-Mori's poll of 57 Labour-held constituencies where the Conservatives need a swing of between 5% and 9% to win.

Their numbers are:

Labour - 38% (+2)
Conservative - 35% (+3)
Lib Dems - 21% (-2)

Comparisons are with this time last week, with those figures representing a swing of 5.5% to the Conservatives since 2005 and would result in a hung parliament.

Lots more detail here.

Jonathan Isaby


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