New polling by Coastal Action shows the Conservatives ahead in Hastings and Rye and the pollsters predict it’s likely the Conservatives will hold the seat.
But the poll confirms what the candidates have been saying when they spoke to Hastings In Focus over the weekend and that is that large numbers of voters are still undecided even with less than three days to go until polling day.
Coastal Action’s new polling for the constituency puts the Conservatives comfortably ahead on 40.5 per cent, with Labour in second place on 30.5 per cent and the Liberal Democrats third on 12.4 per cent. The Independent candidate Paul Crosland secured just 1.6 per cent.
Adjusting figures to remove undecided voters puts the Conservatives on 46.8 per cent, Labour on 36.3 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 14.8 per cent and the Independent on 1.9 per cent.
Sampling revealed high levels of undecidedness, with 14.8 per cent of voters still needing to make up their mind. Most told the pollsters they were determined to vote but did not yet know how.
The poll was undertaken in a range of locations representing the breadth of the parliamentary seat, which includes Hastings and Rye as well as more rural areas.
Coastal Action Director and founder, James Prentice, a PhD researcher at the University of Sussex said: “The findings here in Hastings and Rye derived over the first few days in December are absolutely consistent with national polling, which identifies a Conservative lead of around ten per cent.
“Based on our findings, our expectation is that the Conservatives will hold the seat.
“That said, the large number of voters yet to make up their minds adds a degree of uncertainty to that prediction. Given that when asked, most voters indicate they are determined to vote, there is still a possibility for significant change in the poll share.
“If much of this undecided vote moves towards Labour in the final days of the campaign, as happened towards the end of the last election in 2017, the current gap would close rapidly.
“However, it should be noted that the undecided voters Labour needs to win over come from a range of age groups, voter backgrounds and among remainers and leavers. Uniting all these diverse groups behind the party in such a short time clearly presents a formidable challenge.”
Polling was undertaken between December 1st and 5th before the controversy over comments made by the Conservative candidate Sally-Ann Hart at a Hastings hustings on December 5th.
Based on a turnout equivalent to that of the 2017 General Election and if the polling numbers are accurate that could give the Conservatives a majority of more than 5,000 and would see Nick Perry more than treble his vote from last time and increasing is vote share from just 3.4 per cent in 2017.
- Nick Perry
- Sally-Ann Hart
- Peter Chowney