How are the parties doing in the seats where it matters most?
Later today I’m hoping that we’ll see the third in a polling series which is looking at the next election from a very specific viewpoint – what’s happening in the LAB>CON marginals where Labour is defending majorities of between 6 per cent and 14 per cent.
For unlike normal voting intention polls where electors in the 600 or so seats across England, Scotland, and Wales can be involved, the YouGov survey for Channel 4 News concentrates only on where it really matters – the 60 seats that will determine whether David Cameron will lead the Conservative party to a victory with a majority of seats in the House of Commons.
Thus, if it is like the previous two polls, it’s assumed that the places where Labour has very tight majorities are going to be lost anyway: what we have had in the past is the next tier up.
The first time this appeared, in September the numbers pointed to a three figure majority. By mid-October, after the bank-bailout and during Brown Bounce II the second poll suggested a Tory majority of 54.
There has been a wide assumption that the Tories might be doing better in the key marginals – but we’ve had no up to date evidence to base that on. If today’s poll is like the earlier ones then we might get a better idea.
The main shortcoming is that the focus is on 60 LAB>CON seats and does not cover any of the LD>CON marginals which could also be crucial in determining the outcome. We know the LDs have not been polling well but what really matters is how they are performing in the seats they are defending. This poll, if it is like the last, won’t help us.
As soon as its published I’ll try to put up a new thread.