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Will the towns of England seal Brown’s fate?

October 3rd, 2009

Out at last – the PoliticsHome Marginals MegaPoll

We’ve now got the latest PolticsHome marginals poll which covers 238 constituencies with a sample of 33,610 voters. Apart from the scale what makes this different is that there is a two-stage voting intention question to try to tease out the potential for tactical voting.

    The 2008 version was based on fieldwork at the end of July of that year when Labour was at it absolute lowest so today’s findings suggest that the election will be less of a disaster than last year. Fieldwork for this new poll ended on September 21st so it it quite up to date.

Reproduced above is the main summary panel showing the seat predictions and projected swings in each of the different categories of seat and as can be seen there is a vast difference in the projected movement. In fact in the urban West Midlands and the East Midlands the 13.4% LAB>CON swing is so large that it would bring in nine seats that were not included in the survey. Although it’s not explicit I don’t think those are included in the totals above.

The big switch to the Tories is in the English towns where the poll found a disproportionately large moves from Labour. It’s here where a large number of the key marginals are located and, according to the summary table, where Labour looks set to lose power.

But the poll is suggesting that the Tories are making much less progress in LD>CON marginals than they would have liked and in Scotland, where they have high hopes, they will only put on one extra seat – Dumfries and Galloway

But it’s not all bad news for Labour. The poll found that incumbent Labour MPs were getting less of a swing against them and in Scotland the scale of the party’s projected losses is, at four seats, much lower than many have been predicting. The SNP, in particular will be disappointed by these findings.

For Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems there are eight losses in what is down as the South West segment and that includes Chris Huhne’s Eastleigh. But elsewhere they won’t lose anything apart from Leeds North West and Solihull which is a notional Tory seat anyhow. In Scotland the poll is projecting that the party will be a net gainer picking up Edinburgh South.

The poll predicts from the LAB>LD marginals that the party will only win Islington South and Finsbury. Their targets of Watford , Norwich South, Leeds North West, Hampstead and Kilburn and Derby North will be taken by the Tories.

The Greens, according to the poll, win their first ever Westminster seat – Brighton Pavillion.

The main link for the poll at PoliticsHome is here.

There will be many more threads on this and the detailed contents, I’m sure, will highlight some amazing betting bargains.

Mike Smithson