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The Ashcroft poll shows that the Lib Dems can just hold Eastleigh but only if they can get their reluctant supporters to vote

February 8th, 2013

This will all come down to the GOTV operations

We’ve now got the full data from the Lord Ashcroft Eastleigh by-election poll and the detail points to a fascinating and absorbing battle over the next 20 days.

The headline figures, as reported last night, had CON 34%: LAB 19%: LD 31%: Ukip 13%. The reason that the Tories enjoy their lead is that their supporters were much more likely to say they were certain to vote. 57% of the blues rates their likelihood to turnout at 10/10 while just 31% of the yellows said the same.

The standard polling practice is to weight responses in line with certainty to vote.

    So if this data is in anyway accurate then this is going to be a mighty battle about Getting Out the Vote (GOTV). The campaign that can perform best will win.

There’s another massive unknown as shown in the second pie chart – the very high proportion of 2010 LD voters who now say they “don’t know”. This pool is four times as large as ex-LD voters switching to Labour.

In pre-coalition days you would look at data like this poll and conclude that the LD would do it easiliy. But things are different now and we really do not know how effective their by-election machine is going to be.

An extraordinary battle lies ahead.

Mike Smithson

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