The above story is running in the Telegraph this morning and states that the paper has learned "has learnt that the poll swing to the Conservatives in the main marginal seats is currently about 14 percent - twice the national average recorded by the Conservatives..The seats have been aggressively targeted by a team headed by Lord Ashcroft. Party strategists now believe that Labour has left it too late to mount an effective campaign in these areas."
I have problem with reports of this kind because neither the pollster nor the publisher are ever going to be accountable for the details. We don't know which firm did it and unless this detailed data is made public we cannot make any assessment about its veracity.
The report itself does not add much confidence. To talk about a "swing of 14%" brings us to the verge of the fantastic. The way you calculate these things is to take the difference between Labour 2005 performance at the 2005 general election and the Conservative one. Add the two together and divide by two.
So to get to a 14% swing in a national voting intention survey you would need a CON total of 47% and a Labour one of 22%.That indeed might have happened but unless we can see firm data we cannot jump to conclusions.
Parties are carrying out private polls all the time - why is it only this one that is being leaked?
So come on Tory HQ - be open here and release the data. Otherwise the default assumption is that this is spin.