BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom — Conservative Party donor, publisher and pollster Lord Ashcroft has today unveiled new polling showing the latest movements in Conservative-held seats on the run up to the General Election next year.
His event, which was packed to the rafters with eager media and party activists, was the first major fringe event as Tory Conference kicked off in Birmingham.
The numbers revealed that the Conservative Party is optimistic about stealing a number of high profile Liberal Democrat seats.. Constituencies such as Berwick upon Tweed, Chippenham, Somerton and Frome, St Austell and Newquay, and Wells.
Of the seats targeted by Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party, Lord Ashcroft admitted that the Conservatives are likely to lose at least 2 seats to UKIP, but did not go into further detail. This did not factor in the Clacton and Rochester and Strood by-elections.
It looks like the Labour Party will be the largest party in Parliament following the general election next year, and unless figures drastically change, Ed Miliband’s squad could command a majority in the House of Commons. The Tories need to lose no more than 22 seats to Labour, Ashcroft revealed, and his newest polling shows them down in 24 – reflecting an uphill battle for Cameron’s party.
The Conservative Party is not expecting to make any gains from Labour next year, only picking up Liberal Democrat seats.
On issues based polling, the Conservatives triumphed over Labour on ‘general competence’, the ‘abuse of welfare’, immigration, business, economy, and crime.
Labour are ahead on the NHS, education, and on cutting the deficit ‘while protecting the vulnerable’. Labour is also said to seem “more united and honest” than the Tories.
More people feel that Labour “shares their values” according to the recent polling, despite a disastrous conference for Ed Miliband, though the polling is said to have taken place just before this, perhaps explaining the difference.
The news comes on the back of a number of Conservative Party defections to UKIP. It is understood that Tory MPs and candidates are carefully studying private polling in order to understand whether or not they are better placed to keep or win their seats running under a UKIP ticket.
Members of Parliament believed to be flirting with Farage’s party include Kettering’s Phillip Hollobone, as well as Gravesham’s Adam Holloway, and Northampton South’s Brian Binley.
Yesterday the MP for Rochester and Strood, Mark Reckless, sensationally announced that he was joining UKIP, on the last day of their conference.
Breitbart London understands that Reckless faces a tough battle at the upcoming by-election in the area, following his resignation as a Member of Parliament. Douglas Carswell however, is likely to cruise to victory in Clacton, the other seat that has experienced a Tory defection in recent weeks.