LABOUR is expected to snatch the key marginal seat of Bradford East from the Liberal Democrats at the next election, according to a new poll.

The constituency was listed as one of four Lib Dem seats which are most likely to be won by Labour in next year's General Election.

A thousand constituents were interviewed over the phone on their voting intentions, and the results suggest an 11.5 per cent swing from the Lib Dems to Labour next year.

As the Lib Dems won the seat with a tiny 0.9 per cent majority in 2010, this would mean Labour would take Bradford East by a comfortable margin.

The study was the third in a series of 'battleground polls' by Lord Ashcroft, formerly deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

Lord Ashcroft said: "This is a snapshot not a prediction, and the race in these seats may well narrow over the next few months.

"But as things stand things look very difficult indeed for the Liberal Democrats in seats where Labour are their closest challengers.”

While sitting Lib Dem MP David Ward disputed the poll's findings, he said: "We know it is going to be difficult. There's no fooling ourselves about that."

Mr Ward said the Labour Party was the only serious challenge to the Liberal Democrats in Bradford East.

He said: "We know we have got a job to do. We know we have got a fight on our hands. We know that the Labour Party is really the only challenge to us."

Mr Ward said as Labour was being given £12 million by the union Unite to bankroll its election campaign, its local campaign would "outgun" the Lib Dems financially.

But he added: "We are determined to give it our best shot."

He said he had been encouraged by the Lib Dems' performance at Bradford's recent local elections, when the party's councillors had all kept their seats.

More than half of the people surveyed in Bradford East thought the economy would do well in the coming year, which Mr Ward said he also found encouraging.

Mr Ward said the economic recovery had been a result of "some pretty difficult decisions we had to make".

He said: "Back in 2010, we just have to remember how bad it was."

A spokesman for the Labour Party said it did not comment on polls which predicted election results.