Lord Michael Ashcroft, the controversial former Conservative Treasurer and now Deputy Chairman, is back in the news again.
Over the weekend, the Daily Mail ran a piece about internal Conservative disagreements over his role and there has also been plenty of criticism of him on ConservativeHome, some of which made The Guardian.
Defenders of Ashcroft essentially say: he knows what it takes to win elections so having Ashcroft in charge and the serial losers being given the push is a good thing.
But how good is Lord Ashcroft?
Well, here’s his own account of his record supporting target seats at the 2005 general election:
You read that right: by his own admission, all his expertise and money achieved was a paltry o.6 per cent extra swing from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives. Given the campaign I ran at the general election secured a Labour to Liberal Democrats swing that was 9.8 points above the national average, I guess that makes me 16.3 times better than Lord Ashcroft…
The national swing from Labour to Conservatives was 3.2 per cent, yet the swing in the seats which we supported was 3.8 per cent.
Dirty Politics, Dirty Times by Michael Ashcroft, p.296
Do drop me a line, Michael.
My consultancy rates would be very competitive…