UKIP decline in 4 target seats
Lord Ashcroft has polled
four UKIP target seats. Although none of them are top UKIP targets, they are seats which have shown a strong UKIP presence in the past.
Cannock Chase was historically a Conservative-Labour marginal, although it has more often than not been a Labour seat. In 2010, the seat recorded a 14.0% swing from Labour to Conservative with a huge 17.9% drop in the Labour vote. In October 2014, Lord Ashcroft showed Labour on 32%, UKIP on 30% and the Conservatives on 27%, essentially showing Cannock Chase as a three way marginal. Lord Ashcroft is now showing Labour on 38%, the Conservatives on 32% and UKIP on 21%. It seems that the traditional two party squeeze has kicked in and has pushed UKIP down. Cannock Chase is also showing fewer voters having heard from UKIP than in the other constituencies polled which may suggest that UKIP is diverting resources elsewhere.
Castle Point has historically been a safe Conservative seat. It was won by Labour in the 1997 landslide and was one of the few Conservative gains in 2001. Back in February, Lord Ashcroft had the Conservatives on 37%, UKIP on 36% and Labour on 16%. Now Lord Ashcroft is showing the Conservatives on 41%, UKIP on 36% and Labour on 12%. This poll should bring some comfort to UKIP as they are not that far behind here.
Great Grimsby has been a Labour seat since 1945, although it has sometimes been a marginal seat with the Conservatives in second place. Great Grimsby is the top Labour held target seat for UKIP and them winning it would put to rest claims that UKIP only threaten the Conservatives. In November 2014, Lord Ashcroft had Labour on 35%, UKIP on 34% and the Conservatives on 20%. Lord Ashcroft now has Labour on 42%, the Conservatives on 24% and UKIP on 25%.
Great Yarmouth has often been a Conservative-Labour marginal, although it was a safe Conservative seat during the 1980s. Back in April 2014 and July 2014, Lord Ashcroft showed Great Yarmouth as a three way marginal between the Conservatives, Labour and UKIP. Now Lord Ashcroft is showing the Conservatives on 36%, Labour on 34% and UKIP on 24%.
Overall UKIP are down in three of the four seats. On these figures it would seem that Cannock Chase, Great Grimsby and Great Yarmouth are out of reach, but Castle Point still seems to be a viable target.
Regarding the Liberal Democrats, their performance in these polls is nothing short of appalling. In 2010, they achieved 17.0%, 9.4%, 22.4% and 14.4% in the above seats. Now they are polling at 5%, 2%, 5% and 2%. These seats were never likely targets for the Liberal Democrats anyway, but if they are to have a serious parliamentary presence in the future then they must find a way to recover.