Nick Clegg is two points behind his Labour rival Oliver Coppard in Sheffield Hallam polls released today.
Lord Ashcroft said ‘things still look uncomfortable’ for Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg in his assessment of the party’s election ‘battleground’ yesterday.
Although the Lib Dems have edged ahead in other seats, in Hallam 34 per cent of voters said they would back the party and sitting MP Mr Clegg compared to 36 per cent for Labour.
The seat will be one of the most closely watched in the nation and this is the first Ashcroft poll to focus on it after the official countdown to the election began.
Mr Coppard said: “I’m pleased to see our hard work is paying off but not particularly surprised - people do feel incredibly let down by Nick Clegg.
“We will keep on working hard every day, hour and minute until polling day on May 7, the only polling day that matters.”
Lord Ashcroft said that the highest ‘contact rate’ was by the Lib Dems in Hallam, with 76 per cent of those polled having heard from Mr Clegg’s team.
He added: “We will know in 35 days if it has paid off.”
A spokesman for Mr Clegg said he and the party had a ‘strong record for action’ in Sheffield.
He added: “We believe that when it comes to the choice on May 7, the people of Sheffield Hallam will back Liberal Democrat plans to invest an extra £8bn in the NHS, £3.5bn of it in mental health, protect education funding and give working people an extra £400 tax cut.
“We are confident people will reject Labour’s plans for more reckless borrowing and vote for the stronger economy and fairer society only the Liberal Democrats can deliver for Sheffield.”
In the poll 16 per cent of people said they would vote Conservative, seven per cent Ukip and six per cent Green.