Friday, March 05, 2010

New blow for Tories as lead slips in marginals.

It is well known that David Cameron's big plan to win the next election is being engineered around winning several key marginal seats which he hopes he can wrestle from Labour, and that the funding of his campaign in these marginal seats is being funded and run by Lord Ashcroft.

It also now appears as if the scandal brewing around Lord Ashcroft's tax status is starting to have a detrimental effect in those marginal seats which the Tories are pinning so much of their hopes on.

The Conservative lead is crumbling in the crucial marginal seats that David Cameron is relying on to deliver general election victory for the party, a poll last night disclosed.

The result was a fresh setback for the Tory leader after a torrid day in which he was drawn deeper into the row over the billionaire peer Lord Ashcroft, when it emerged that he had known for less than a month that Lord Ashcroft had maintained his non-dom tax status for 10 years.

The chances of the party drawing a line under the controversy were also wrecked by the announcement that Lord Ashcroft will be summoned to the Commons to explain why he negotiated a secret deal to enter the House of Lords without paying tax in this country on his overseas fortune.

The YouGov poll for Channel 4 News found the Tory lead in 60 Labour-held marginals had shrunk from seven to just two points over the past year.
I would personally regard it as beautifully ironic were the Ashcroft affair to cost the Tories the election in the marginals.

They are engaging in what Ashcroft used to refer to as "sharp practices" and there are many in Britain who will find themselves feeling that there is something not quite right about someone who doesn't pay tax here attempting to influence who the country next elects to govern us.

The Tories, however, are claiming that any continued questions around Lord Ashcroft's tax status and place in the House of Lords were "part of a politically motivated campaign orchestrated by the Labour Party in advance of the general election in order to distract attention from the real issues facing this country".

The drop in support for the Tories in key marginals would appear to suggest that this line is not holding water.

Click here for full article.

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