Lord Ashcroft’s poll predicts Tory victory in NE Cambs in what he says will effectively be a two horse race

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Cambs Election 2015 logo - Credit: Archant

The general election in May looks set to be a two horse race in this area according to a new poll produced this week on how people will vote on May 7.

Renowned Tory pollster Lord Michael Ashcroft published findings looking at four Conservative held seats that are said to be targets for UKIP come this year’s general election.

Just over 4,000 people gave their responses on a variety of questions aimed at gauging their voting intentions in phone interviews carried out between January 26 and February 5.

North East Cambridgeshire, the constituency currently represented by Conservative MP Steve Barclay, which takes in Fenland as well as areas like Littleport, Little Downham and Coveney, was one of four considered to be in UKIP’s sights.

However, Lord Ashcroft’s findings showed that in fact Mr Barclay is likely to hold the seat and currently has a 21 point lead over UKIP.

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Asked if there was a general election tomorrow, which candidate would they vote for in their constituency? 46 per cent of the 1,000 North East Cambs constituents polled said they would vote Conservative, 25 per cent would vote UKIP putting the party in second place, Labour third with 17 per cent, Lib Dems fourth and the Greens fifth.

If that happened it would mean a 20 per cent rise in the number of people voting UKIP. According to the poll the majority of those votes would come from the Lib Dems, who would be down 13 per cent, Labour would see the least of its voters turning to UKIP dropping just one per cent. The Conservatives would lose six per cent of its voters, while the Greens can expect a small rise of four per cent.

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The Lib Dems appear to be the party that most voters in this area are unlikely to put their cross next to on May 7.

Asked “Are there any parties you would definitely not vote for at the next general election?” 65 per cent of the 1,000 said they would definitely not vote for the Lib Dems.

At the last election in 2010 the Lib Dems came second in North East Cambridgeshire with candidate Lorna Spenceley getting 10,437 votes, a 20 per cent rise on 2005.

In the same election UKIP’s Robin Talbot came fourth with just 2,991 votes behind Labour’s Peter Roberts.

Labour voters are least likely to vote UKIP compared to those who vote Conservative, with 78 per cent of Labour supporters ruling that possibility out.

However, Conservative voters are more likely to vote UKIP than Labour with 81 per cent ruling out Ed Miliband’s party compared to the 70 per cent who said they would not vote for Nigel Farage’s UKIP.

The poll covered a variety of issues including the economy and asked those taking part “how do you think the British economy will fare over the next year?”

More than half, 58 per cent, thought it would do well, with 63 per cent believing it would be good for them and their families.

Those who were Conservative voters had even higher expectations with 83 per cent believing it will do well. The least confident were the UKIP voters with an almost 50/50 split between those who thought it would do well and those who believed it would do badly.

When it came to the leaders only 36 per cent were satisfied with David Cameron as Prime Minister, 32 per cent were dissatisfied with Cameron but would still prefer him over Miliband, and only 17 per cent would prefer Miliband over Cameron.

Finally 34 per cent of the North East Cambridgeshire voters polled said they would prefer to see a Conservative government as the outcome of May 7’s voting.

The least preferred option was a Labour/Lib Dem coalition, a Labour government was preferred over a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition.

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