Opinion poll shows that if Conservative voters in Croydon Central switch to UKIP next May, they’ll wake up with a Labour MP and Ed Miliband as Prime Minister
Lord Ashcroft is conducting a series of polls in various marginal seats. On Wednesday, he published the results of a poll in Croydon Central, which was conducted between 14th and 18th October. 1,000 adults were interviewed by telephone and the results were weighted to be representative of all adults in the constituency. The headline voting intentions when people were asked to think about Croydon Central and the candidates who were likely to stand there were:
Labour 39% (up five percentage points since the last Election)
Conservative 33% (down seven percentage points)
UKIP 19% (up seventeen percentage points)
Liberal Democrat 4% (down nine percentage points)
which obviously don’t make for very cheery reading for me.
But when you look beneath the headline figures, an interesting picture emerges.
First, when it comes to who people want to be Prime Minister, David Cameron beats Ed Miliband by 57% to 27%.
Second, people recognise that the economy is recovering. 57% expect it to do well for the country as a whole over the next year and 61% expect it to do well for them and their family.
Third, despite being behind we are out-campaigning Labour - more voters have heard from us than them over the last few weeks.
And fourth and most importantly the data provides an insight into why Labour are ahead. It is not because former Conservative supporters are now voting Labour (as happened in 1997) - actually, the poll shows that in terms of direct switching more 2010 Labour voters are planning to vote for me than 2010 Conservative voters are planning to vote Labour. What has happened is:
a) Labour are benefiting much more than us from the fall in the Liberal Democrat vote (45% of 2010 Liberal Democrat voters are now planning to vote Labour, compared with only 11% planning to vote Conservative); and
b) we are suffering much more than Labour from defections to UKIP (23% of 2010 Conservative voters are now planning to vote UKIP, compared with only 6% of 2010 Labour voters).
If you're interested in such things, you can pour through the detailed figures for yourself here.
Hopefully this poll will help to convince those 2010 Conservative voters tempted to switch to UKIP that if they do so, they’ll end up with a Labour MP and in all probability Ed Miliband as Prime Minister. If like me you think that would be a disaster for this country and you're prepared to help out to make sure it doesn't happen, get in touch.