Labour will win 2015 general election, says Ashcroft poll
Study finds Labour would gain 109 seats, taking them to a total of 367 MPs and giving them a majority of 84
Ed Miliband will form the next government in 2015, if a poll of marginal constituencies released today is to be believed.
According to the poll, carried out by millionaire Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, Labour would gain 109 seats- 93 of them from the Conservatives- if a general election was held tomorrow, giving them 367 MPs and a majority of 84.
The findings come as The Times reports that it had seen details of a canvass of Tory supporters that showed just 7% believed David Cameron will win an overall majority at the next general election, while three quarters expect Labour to be in power.
Nearly 20,000 voters in 213 constituencies were polled for the study which found Labour would win 93 of the 109 most marginal Tory seats, with the biggest Labour swing in the Thames Estuary and the Midlands.
Based on the research, the Lib Dems would lose 17 constituencies in England and Wales to their coalition colleagues and 13 to Labour.
Lord Ashcroft announced the findings today at the Victory 2015 conference being staged by website conservativehome.
He said: “I don't want to see a Labour majority of four, let alone 84, but I hope this puts the challenge into some sort of perspective. We have a long way to go to hold onto the seats we gained last time, let alone pick up many more.
"But things are slightly less grim than the headline polls suggest, and we have everything to play for.”
Tory minister Nick Boles said last night that the party had “screwed up” in the Eastleigh by-election but warned that it must not swing to the right after the drubbing.
He suggested the party failed to offer voters any hope and had repeated the same mistakes it has been making for more than a decade.
Mr Boles, the planning minister, told The Times last week's Hampshire by-election, which saw the Tories pushed into third place behind Ukip, had been a “truly rotten campaign”.
He said: “Where was the hope? It was as if modernisation had never happened.
“We screwed it up. We didn't even screw up in a new way. We screwed it up in an old way that we have been doing for a decade.
“It's so frustrating.”
But Mr Boles, an ally of the Prime Minister, warned plotters they needed “their head seeing to” if they believed it was wise to attempt to oust Mr Cameron.
Arsenal strengthened their grip on a top-four finish with a straightforward 3-0 win over Hull City.
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