A new poll conducted by ComRes for ITV News reveals that Labour continues to hold on to its lead over the Conservatives in the forty most marginal swing seats where the two parties are fighting head-to-head against each other ahead of the General Election in May. Labour’s vote share is at 40% with the Conservatives on 31%. Both parties were on 37% in these seats at the last General Election.
UKIP is now on 15% which is down three points since the last marginal constituencies ComRes/ ITV News poll in November 2014. The Liberal Democrats and Green Party are both up one point over the same period.
Con 31% (NC)
Lab 40% (+1)
LD 8% (+1)
UKIP 15% (-3)
Green 5% (+1)
(Figures in brackets show changes from November 2014)
Tom Mludzinski, Head of Political Polling at ComRes said: “While national polls suggest the race is neck-and-neck, this look at the key battleground seats reveals Labour are enjoying a healthier lead in important areas. More than ever before, this election is about winning these important battles and Labour’s lead in the marginals will bring comfort where national polling has given them some cause for concern.”
When looking at the driving factors behind voting intention, voters in marginal seats say that it is most important that a party has the best policies on issues important to them. Two thirds of voters (66%) say this is the most important reason why they will choose to vote for a particular party.
12% say the leader who will make the best Prime Minister is most important in deciding who to vote for, while 8% say the party with the candidate who will make the best MP for their local area. Overall, tactical voting seems to be a minor issue, with just 5% of voters in marginal seats saying they will vote for the party that has the best chance of beating a party they do not like. There are differences in terms of priorities for voters of different parties however – a quarter (24%) of Conservative voters in marginal seats say who will make the best Prime Minister is most important in deciding who to vote for. Just 11% of Labour voters say the same.
The Conservatives are most trusted by voters in marginal seats to promote economic growth. They lead the Labour Party by 12 percentage points (35% to 23%). Labour has a lead of 18 points on the NHS which is the highest priority issue nationally. 38% of voters in marginal seats trust Labour on the issue compared to 20% who most trust the Conservatives. Meanwhile, UKIP is the party most trusted on controlling immigration (38%), leading both the Conservatives (17%) and Labour (15%).
Focusing on the leaders, in marginal seats David Cameron leads Ed Miliband on a number of key characteristics. The Prime Minister is considered by a greater proportion of voters to be intelligent, competent, the most statesmanlike, to stand up for what he believes in and to have a clear vision for what he wants for the country.
However, David Cameron is also the leader thought most out of touch with ordinary people (47%). Nigel Farage is the leader least likely to be thought out of touch by voters in marginal seats (22%) as well as the leader most likely to be thought weird (40%), followed by Ed Miliband (35%).