We’ve been spoiled in this election with the amount and frequency of opinion polls available to dissect and debate, particularly constituency polls published by Lord Ashcroft.
But there are some seats that Ashcroft has yet to visit and where it would be fascinating to get a flavour of how things are shaping up. Here are five of them.
Labour’s Wes Streeting needs a 5.8% swing to take the seat from the Tories’ Lee Scott. A sense of how this battle is going would give us a clue as to how great the swing to Labour could be across London. If Ilford North looks like changing hands, the Tories really will be in trouble. It’s number 83 on Labour’s target list.
Heywood & Middleton
How is Ukip doing in the seat it almost won from Labour in the by-election last October? The party has been tipping money and resources into the constituency, clearly hoping it will be a case of second time lucky. A swing of just 1.1% is all they need to overturn Liz McInnes’ majority of 617. But Labour will surely have learned from the outcome of that by-election, and will be fighting equally hard to hold on.
Rochester & Strood
There’s little doubt Douglas Carswell will hold Clacton for Ukip. But will his fellow Tory defector Mark Reckless do the same in Rochester & Strood? His majority is only 2,920. The Conservatives need a swing of 3.7% to take back the seat, and it’s tantalising to think how this particular battle may or may not be edging in their favour.
One of the Scottish seats yet to be polled by Lord Ashcroft. This is a potential five-way battle between Labour, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, the Tories and the Greens, and as such will be one most intriguing contests in all of Scotland. The Greens polled 5.1% in 2010. The SNP polled 20.4%, and need a 11.5% swing to take the seat. Just how will the anti-Tory/left-wing vote split? Might there be movement not just between Labour and the SNP, but also from the Lib Dems to Labour and Labour to the Greens? If the Labour/Lib Dem vote slumps entirely, will more of it go to the SNP than the Greens? So many questions.
This is perhaps the most enigmatic contest of all. For months the Greens have been talking up their chances, but candidate Darren Hall would need a swing of 22.1% to win, and this Lib Dem-held seat is also being targeted by Labour and the Tories. The Greens polled 3.8% here in 2010, and believe they will do better this time thanks to both the Lib Dem and Labour vote collapsing in their favour. The party also has six Bristol councillors – though admittedly this is on a council of 70. Just what is the state of play? Even the local supporters want to know. Over to you, Lord Ashcroft.