The Liberal Democrat victory in Eastleigh may not translate into success at the 2015 general election, according to a poll carried out for former Conservative treasurer Lord Ashcroft.
He cautioned the Tory leadership against “learning the wrong lessons” from being pushed into third place by Ukip, as the survey found many of those backing the eurosceptic group were doing so as a protest against the mainstream parties.
“Our task is not to become more like Ukip, the party of easy answers, but to be the party of government that people want to vote for,” said Lord Ashcroft. “Let’s hope there’s still time.”
The poll of 760 Eastleigh voters, taken after they cast their ballots on Thursday, suggested only 43 per cent of those voting Lib Dem expected to back the party at the general election.