All 89 seat-by-seat polls, now mapped on May2015. Photo: May2015.
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Explore all of Lord Ashcroft's 89 marginal polls

See how many seats each party is set to win according to the seat-by-seat polls.

For more data, polls and predictions, follow May2015.com.

Lord Ashcroft’s marginal polls are giving election forecasters a regular dose of entertainment, and political leaderships constant fear.

You can now explore all 89 of his polls on May2015. We have brought together and mapped his eight batches of polling, so you can see exactly what these polls would mean if they came true on election night.

His latest batch was released yesterday. It offered some reassurance for Labour, whose hopes of a majority could have finally faded.

Ashcroft polled 12 Tory-held seats, the 31st to 42nd most marginal ones. He has already polled the 30 seats the Tories won by lesser majorities in 2010. Labour likely needs to win all of these, and another 15 or so Tory seats, to win a majority.

The polls showed the party ahead in nine of them, which is better than some pundits expected. For more, see our earlier take.

See May2015's map of all of Lord Ashcroft's seat-by-seat polls.

Taken together, Ashcroft’s polls have in many ways confirmed what the national polls imply. Of the 25 Lib Dem seats he has polled, Clegg’s party are set to lose all but 9. The Tories are on course to lose 32 overall and Labour are due to pick up 47.

But these polls also offer much more than national polls. They show how the Lib Dems are convincingly ahead in seats like Cheadle, Eastleigh, Eastbourne, and Sutton and Cheam, when national polls suggest their single-digit majorities should be overturned.

They also show us how much greater the Lib Dem-to-Labour swing is than the Lib Dem-to-Tory swing. On paper, it looks like the Tories should benefit the most from a Lib Dem collapse. The Conservatives were the second placed party in 19 of the 27 seats where the Lib Dems won by less than 10 per cent in 2010.

The Lib Dem-to-Labour swing is far greater than the Lib Dem-to-Tory swing.

But Ashcroft has put them ahead in only eight of these seats, whereas Labour are challenging the Lib Dems in seats like Cambridge, Bermondsey and Bristol West, all of which they lost by 15-20 per cent in 2010.

That means the net effect of the Lib Dem collapse is currently equal. Both parties are set to win 8 Lib Dem seats and possibly a couple more.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is how many seats are competitive. The party in front leads by less than 5 per cent in 34 of these seats, some of which haven’t been polled since much earlier in the summer. We’ll be keeping track of how any of the numbers change as the news comes in.

May2015 is the New Statesman's new elections site. Explore it for data, interviews and ideas on the general election.

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The most terrifying thing about Donald Trump's speech? What he didn't say

No politician uses official speeches to put across their most controversial ideas. But Donald Trump's are not hard to find. 

As Donald Trump took the podium on a cold Washington day to deliver his inauguration speech, the world held its breath. Viewers hunched over televisions or internet streaming services watched Trump mouth “thank you” to the camera, no doubt wondering how he could possibly live up to his deranged late-night Twitter persona. In newsrooms across America, reporters unsure when they might next get access to a president who seems to delight in denying them the right to ask questions got ready to parse his words for any clue as to what was to come. Some, deciding they couldn’t bear to watch, studiously busied themselves with other things.

But when the moment came, Trump’s speech was uncharacteristically professional – at least compared to his previous performances. The fractured, repetitive grammar that marks many of his off-the-cuff statements was missing, and so, too, were most of his most controversial policy ideas.

Trump told the crowd that his presidency would “determine the course of America, and the world, for many, many years to come” before expressing his gratefulness to President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for their “gracious aid” during the transition. “They have been magnificent," Trump said, before leading applause of thanks from the crowd.

If this opening was innocent enough, however, it all changed in the next breath. The new president moved quickly to the “historic movement”, “the likes of which the world has never seen before”, that elected him President. Following the small-state rhetoric of his campaign, Trump promised to take power from the “establishment” and restore it to the American people. “This moment," he told them, “Is your moment. It belongs to you.”

A good deal of the speech was given over to re-iterating his nationalist positions while also making repeated references to the key issues – “Islamic terrorism” and families – that remain points of commonality within the fractured Republican GOP.

The loss of business to overseas producers was blamed for “destroying our jobs”. “Protection," Trump said, “Will lead to great strength." He promised to end what he called the “American carnage” caused by drugs and crime.

“From this day forward," Trump said, “It’s going to be only America first."

There was plenty in the speech, then, that should worry viewers, particularly if you read Trump’s promises to make America “unstoppable” so it can “win” again in light of his recent tweets about China

But it was the things Trump didn't mention that should worry us most. Trump, we know, doesn’t use official channels to communicate his most troubling ideas. From bizarre television interviews to his upsetting and offensive rallies and, of course, the infamous tweets, the new President is inclined to fling his thoughts into the world as and when he sees fit, not on the occasions when he’s required to address the nation (see, also, his anodyne acceptance speech).

It’s important to remember that Trump’s administration wins when it makes itself seem as innocent as possible. During the speech, I was reminded of my colleague Helen Lewis’ recent thoughts on the “gaslighter-in-chief”, reflecting on Trump’s lying claim that he never mocked a disabled reporter. “Now we can see," she wrote, “A false narrative being built in real time, tweet by tweet."

Saying things that are untrue isn’t the only way of lying – it is also possible to lie by omission.

There has been much discussion as to whether Trump will soften after he becomes president. All the things this speech did not mention were designed to keep us guessing about many of the President’s most controversial promises.

Trump did not mention his proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, nor the wall he insists he will erect between America and Mexico (which he maintains the latter will pay for). He maintained a polite coolness towards the former President and avoiding any discussion of alleged cuts to anti-domestic violence programs and abortion regulations. Why? Trump wanted to leave viewers unsure as to whether he actually intends to carry through on his election rhetoric.

To understand what Trump is capable of, therefore, it is best not to look to his speeches on a global stage, but to the promises he makes to his allies. So when the President’s personal website still insists he will build a wall, end catch-and-release, suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions” “where adequate screening cannot occur”; when, despite saying he understands only 3 per cent of Planned Parenthood services relate to abortion and that “millions” of women are helped by their cancer screening, he plans to defund Planned Parenthood; when the president says he will remove gun-free zones around schools “on his first day” - believe him.  

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland