There is a Populus poll of marginal seats in The Times today, Mr. Peter Riddell’s commentary is here.
The headline figures in the poll is Conservatives 38%, Labour 38% and the blogosphere has naturally become very excited, but what it means however, depends upon which seats were polled.
The Populus poll sampled Labour held Conservative targets from which rank between fifty and one hundred and forty-nine on the Conservative's target list, so excluding the fifty Labour-v-Conservative seats with the smallest majorities.
Mr. Riddell’s calculates these seats had shares of the vote of Conservative 31.4%, Labour 45.3% in the 2005 General Election. On that basis this poll represents a swing of approximately 6.7%, just short of the sort of swing the Conservatives will need for an overall majority to form the next government.
There has not been a national Populus poll for a month, so it is too early to tell if this poll suggests a larger lead in the marginals than at a national level, a hypothosis being spun by most attendees at the Conservatives' Spring Forum in Brighton two weekends ago.
However, the swing this poll suggests that the swing in the marginals would be equivalent of a ten point lead in the polls nationally, a larger lead than most polls from other companies have been showing in recent weeks.
Acknowledgement: UKPollingReport | Anthony Wells | 08/03/2010