Media commentators seem to have caught up with the fact that UKIP are challenging for third place in the polls… except that it isn’t quite a fact. As ever, the actual picture is more complicated and whether UKIP are competing for third place, or have secured third place, or are trailing in a very distant fourth place depends on the polling company and their methodology.

There are currently nine polling companies conducting regular or semi-regular voting intention polls, four of them have shown UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems – in some cases like Survation almost always, in some cases like YouGov very rarely. The other five have never done so, and in the case of ICM or ComRes’s phone polls have never shown UKIP even vaguely close to third place.

The perception that they are consistently competing for third place comes from a couple of factors. One is publication bias – polling companies that show UKIP in third or challenging for third tend to include them in their topline figures. Polling companies that have them in a distant fourth don’t really bother. This is understandable enough, but means the good figures get far more prominence than the bad ones (it is further exacerbated by the reporting of polls – UKIP in third place is a news story worth reporting. UKIP back in the crowd with 3% or 4%, as ICM, MORI and ComRes have sometimes shown them in recent months isn’t). The other factor is that UKIP tend to do better in online polls, and online polls tend to be more frequent. Between the start of June and the 25th October when I collected up the data for this post there were 153 voting intention polls, 135 were online. Even putting aside YouGov, who conducted over two-thirds of all the polls in that period, there were 33 online polls compared to 18 phone polls. The polls that are best for UKIP are also the most frequent.

The graph below shows the average score for the Liberal Democrats and UKIP for each polling company between June and October, ordered from those showing the biggest Lib Dem leads over UKIP on the left, to those showing the biggest UKIP lead over the Lib Dems on the right.

At the left ICM and ComRes (phone) are showing the Lib Dem very solidly in third place, with UKIP not far above their 2010 level of support. Populus and MORI have a big gap between the two parties. TNS and YouGov both, on average, have the Lib Dems in third place, but have both on occasion shown UKIP in third place or equal with the Lib Dems. Only Opinion and Survation give UKIP a higher average level of support than the Lib Dems, and only Survation significantly so.

As usual there are different reasons for this pattern. For example, Survation give UKIP by far the highest level of support because they prompt from them in their main question (something I’ve written about at more length here). ComRes’s phone polls probably show the lowest level of UKIP support because they use a harsher likelihood to vote filter for minor parties than for the main three (their topline figures include those who say they are 5/10 or more likely to vote for Con, Lab and LD, but only those 10/10 certain to vote for minor parties).

The main cause of the difference however, as I’ve marked on the chart, seems to be between online and telephone polling. For whatever reason, online polls seem to show a higher level of support for UKIP than telephone polls do. This doesn’t seem to be a “minor party” factor, if you compare “others” in general online polls show more support for minor parties, but take out UKIP from the equation and it vanishes, as I’ve shown in the graph below. For some reason, the consistent difference only shows up with UKIP.

There are various possible explanations for this difference. One is interviewer effect, perhaps people are more willing to admit to an anonymous web-interface that they are going to vote for UKIP than they would be to a live human being on the end of a telephone. The other possibility is that there some sort of sampling difference in one mode or the other. Are the sort of people who would support UKIP systemically less likely to agree to take part in a cold-called telephone interview than other people with the same demographic profile? Or are the sort of people who would support UKIP more likely to join an internet panel than other people with the same demographic profile? We cannot tell.

What do we have to judge by? At the last election all the main pollsters got close to UKIP’s actual level of support, so that doesn’t give us any real clue. Since UKIP’s support started to really increase in late 2011 we have had very few big electoral tests to check by, and very few where both telephone and online pollsters have conducted comparable polling.

There were two polls for the Feltham & Heston by-election, one online one from Survation and one commissioned by Lord Ashcroft and presumably carried out by Populus over the phone. Populus showed UKIP at 5%, Survation showed them on 7%. UKIP ended up getting 5.5%, so hardly a conclusive answer (UPDATE – plus, as I should have spotted, the Survation poll was telephone anyway, so the comparison couldn’t have told us anything about online vs phone polls anyway!)

In the London elections this year all pollsters overestimated support for UKIP slightly, but the only telephone poll (by Populus) showed UKIP candidate Lawrence Webb on 3% the same as online polls by ComRes and Opinium. Besides, by describing themselves as “Fresh Choice for London” UKIP did not put their party name on the ballot paper, which may have depressed their actual vote – we don’t know if pollsters slightly overestimated their support, or if UKIP underperformed by failing to mention UKIP in their party description on ballot papers.

Even the worse polling for UKIP shows them increasing their support from the last election, mostly quite significantly, so I think we can be confident they have gained support since 2010. Just how much we can’t really tell – the pollsters range from the relatively modest all the way up to trebling their support or more.


199 Responses to “How much support do UKIP have?”

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  1. Don’t internet polls sort of prompt for UKIP by giving it as an option which can be selected?

    I’m not a panellist myself, so I’m not sure whether or not they appear as an ‘offering’.
    8-)

  2. Amber – only Survation show it on their main voting intention question. All the other online companies give the options of the main parties or “Another party”, and give people who tick the latter a second screen showing other parties

  3. Thanks, Anthony.

    That probably is the explanation why Survation has the highest of all. And I think people like to mess about more on the internet than on the phone. Sort of: Hmm, if I click on ‘Other’ what do I get to choose from?

    Provided all the Parties have candidates, the internet is more like completing an actual ballot paper. On the other hand, when it comes to real voting people might think ‘it’s a wasted vote’ & change their mind at the last.

    So I think the internet polls have the correct level of VI but people change at the 11th hour thereby making the phone polls seem more accurate but for a different reason.

    Speculation about motivation is so much fun; it’s impossible for me to resist! :-)

  4. UKIP support may be lumpy more likely in the rural than the urban areas, certainly where I live (rural) Tories are UKIP in their hearts, whether they’ll be UKIP in their votes, we have yet to find out.

  5. @David,

    I think most Tories would prefer the UKIP votes to be mainly clumped in rural seats, as the Tories are typically far enough ahead in most of these seats for it not to make so much difference. It would be far worse for them if the rise of UKIP meant they were losing votes in closer (especially more marginal) urban seats.

    More generally, the Tories will be hoping that the UKIP vote is lower than some pollsters are suggesting, but Labourites will be hoping that the likes of COMRES to Survation are closer to the reality. Personally, I think if a GE were held tomorrow, the UKIP vote would probably be around 4-5%. It remains to be seen what it will be like in 2015; Labour will be hoping that the extra UKIP support persists and is stronger in more urban consitituencies.

  6. Forums and online polls and so forth tend to be more right-wong. So it’s no surprise that UKIP do better with online polls.

    In real voting, at the GE, they dont have a single seat. Nor do they look likely to get one.

    People have other, much more important, issues to vote on.

    I’d put my top hat on the fact that UKIP fail to win a single seat at the next GE.

  7. Yesterday I offered the following observation on phone polling.

    “What worries me is the assumption that a tiny sample of the population which is readily contactable and willing to be interviewed can be held to be representative in voting terms of the vast majority of the population who clearly aren’t, simply by weighting by characteristics common to both. How do you capture the essence of an army of Victor Meldrews when none of them will give a phone polling company the time of day?”

    It seems that AW has provided an answer to that in this latest thread. Victor Meldrew votes UKIP and you can reach him all too easily through an online poll, as he nowadays spends most of his time on the internet venting his frustration on a myriad of blogs.

  8. If there were to be a headline, it would be “Lib Dems drop to fourth” rather than “UKIP rise to third”. It’s the decline of the Lib Dem VI that has brought them closer in the tables.

    Notably, as Con VI falls and Lab VI rises (and generally the opposite is true), much of the ebb and flow from the Con and Lab VI is from UKIP and Lib Dem respectively.

    A rise for Con results in a fall in UKIP. At the same time a fall in Labour results in a rise in Lib Dem. Don’t ask me why this is, but I’ve noticed it in the charts. It’s not the norm, but I have noticed it (more often in RoS or M&W.

    The complete exception seems to be in the Scottish cross-breaks, but I assume that’s because the SNP mop up votes from all sides (or leak them to all sides when unpopular).

  9. I had a discussion about this with statgeek a few days back, and I wondered if it is that on-line polls are more likely to attract the “angry, white, male” demographic that also seems to UKIP’s core.

    The “angry, white male” thing is a bit of a (US) cliche, of course, but it’s clear that UKIP are attracting some people that the BNP did in the past – which isn’t to say that that most of the people that UKIP are attracting are ex-BNP or share those views of course. Certainly UKIP voters are disproportionately male (10% men, 4% women in today’s YouGov) and they seem to score lower among non-whites among what polling I have seen. As to ‘angry’ as That Old Bloke points out,you can judge that from the comments sections of an on-line newspaper near you.

    statgeek thought perhaps it might be a simple case that the average UKIP voter has more technological know-how but apart from being male, the profile of UKIP voters isn’t automatically tech-y (it’s notably older and a bit C2DE). But I suspect he may have something in that they are more likely to use the internet to express their views (not just on politics). Being more likely to be retired would help that. So it may be that they are over-represented in on-line panels and more likely to reply to survey requests.

    There could also be a shy-UKIP effect, especially among supporters not in the core demographic ie younger, female, middle-class. This might show as an even stronger demographic bias within UKIP voters in the telephone polls. I can’t see it but the fact that there are fewer such polls, they have smaller samples (and even smaller effective samples) and proportionally less UKIP votes all means there isn’t much to go on.

    So I suspect the ‘on-line AWM’ theory may have some truth in it and the 8-9% we are seeing for UKIP in on-line polls is an over estimate. Whether the telephone pollsters (all of which are lower than all the on-line ones) are more accurate is another matter. It has also to be remembered that pollsters are often measuring subtly different things, because of how they ask the questions.

  10. Anthony

    Two queries. Firstly you have Populus down as a telephone poll, but according to their October survey for the Times “Populus interviewed a random sample of 1,506 adults online between 19th and 21st October”. The tables do say CATI and include refusals (and they have July and September as phone polls), so it may just be a slip up, but as they do also do on-line ones (for example their notorious pre-Labour Conference one), it gets confusing.

    Secondly are any pollsters controlling separately for past UKIP vote or current i-d or do they tend to get lumped in with ‘Others’? I realise UKIP-ers will be difficult to control for – many will have not voted UKIP last time.

  11. The telegraph has a pay wall now!! But its only 2 quid a month, but even so I don’t want to give my money to a right wing paper but the G is not worth reading let alone paying for. Think ill try the indy but their financial coverage is only a little better than G

  12. Roger – probably an error. Populus voting intention polls for the Times are all telephone, but they occassionally do some extra questions for them online (sometimes they are published together in the paper, which may be the cause of confusion),

    I couldn’t tell you about whether UKIP past vote is weighted separately or not (though it would be relatively easy to check – go through past Populus and ICM polls – I think both their tables have it – and see if the amount of recalled UKIP support varies from month to month or is constant)

  13. Richard in Norway – I think they’ve got a paywall only for people accessing it from outside the UK. Bad luck!

  14. RinN
    It depends whether you are seeking news or comment and whether it’s international or local. I gather you want finance. Surely FT, FAZ are better? I actually am not in the slightest interested in what financial journalists have to say. They are all wrong or bent. I always want to know what their own investment portfolio is, or who is giving them back-handers to fly their recommendation kites.

  15. Electoral Calculus Monthly analysis is out:

    ***

    Election prediction: Con 229 Lab 371, LibDem 16; Lab 92 seat majority

    Pollsters saw some gains for Labour during October, mostly at the expense of the Liberal Democrats. Most pollsters (apart from Populus) have a Labour lead of around 10% over the Conservatives. During the month, Labour gained about 1.5% and the Lib Dems lost a similar amount, whilst the Conservatives were fairly steady.

    The most recent polls from the six pollsters who published polls in October are:

    Angus-Reid (Sunday Express) has Con 31, Lab 43, Lib 8
    Populus (Times) has Con 35, Lab 40, Lib 9
    ICM (Guardian) has Con 33, Lab 41, Lib 14
    Ipsos-MORI (Evening Standard) has Con 33, Lab 43, Lib 9
    ComRes (Independent) has Con 33, Lab 44, Lib 12
    YouGov (Sun) has Con 33, Lab 44, Lib 9

    Overall the average is Con 33 (unch), Lab 43 (+2), Lib 10 (-1).

    The new national prediction is that Labour will have a majority of 92 seats,
    winning 371 seats (+1 seat since 30 September).

    Also new this month is analysis of the revised boundary proposals for England and Scotland which have recently been published by their boundary commissions. There has been a shift in favour of incumbents, and a slight advantage for the Conservatives over Labour.

  16. Cheers Rob.

    That ole bloke:

    If you’ve got a top hat I’ll eat my bowler

  17. Survation poll for the 2011 Barnsley Central byelection (compared with actual result):

    Lab 63% (60.8%)
    UKIP 9% (12.2%)
    Con 13% (8.3%)
    BNP 4% (6%)
    Ind (5.2%)
    Lib Dems 6% (4.2%).

  18. Most of the ‘methodological threads’ I have seen since following UKPR have been about the effects of different ways of asking essentially the same questions or about what is done to the data after they have been collected. The difference between telephone polls and internet ones is of a different kind. There must also be other differences between pollsters that relate to the recruitment of samples, number of call backs, training of interviewers, and so on. Does anyone know how far differences of this kind result in systematic differences between polling companies in tables reporting raw data on voting intentions when the same question is asked?

  19. @Roger Mexico

    “Certainly UKIP voters are disproportionately male (10% men, 4% women in today’s YouGov)”

    And I presume the other 86% are transexuals then? I must admit, I did have my doubts about the gender credentials of that UKIP canvasser who knocked my door the other day!

    And by the way, “knocked my door” isn’t a nudge, nudge euphemism for something else either!

  20. Though it is notoriously difficult to draw parallels between voting in local elections and voting behavior more generally it shouldn’t be forgotten that UKIP averaged 13% in seats they contested in May 2012… that is 5% up on May 2011.

    Also… 40% of Conservative voters would consider voting UKIP according to this YouGov poll (Peter Kellner article):

    h
    ttp://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/cameron-outflanked-ukip-yougov-polls/

  21. CB11
    :shock:

  22. Good Evening all.

    ROB and Anthony.

    Thanks very much for the analyes.

  23. ChrisLane:

    analyes doesn’t read well

  24. There is another reason UKIP do better on the web, it’s been their platform from the start.

    While the mainstream media have largely ignored UKIP, they have made their presence felt on Youtube where their lectures and arguments on economics are readily able to be compared, side by side, with the lack of data put out by the other parties, who simply think they can spout rhetoric on the BBC and be believed.

    UKIP is a party that relies on people to understand maths, stats and other fancy things people like Blair think people pay too much importance to (See his EU speech).

    And that means the declining middle class, educated whites.

    That’s not to snub other ‘people’ but it is very much a problem due to the damage politics has done to the education system and the ‘me me me’ culture, as opposed to the traditional conservative ‘For King and Country’ mentality.

  25. PAUL.
    You still here, lol.

    Yes, keyboard playing up.

    Lib Dem figure of 16 seats, I notice, in Rob Sheffield’s ANALYSES.

  26. There could also be a shy-UKIP effect, especially among supporters not in the core demographic ie younger, female, middle-class.

    —–

    Never.

    But if that is the case, I’ll be eating not only my top hat but also PaulCrofts bowler and that Brown Derby I think crossbat11was referring to!

  27. I could imagine that if the local Cons in Torbay were very annoyed with the choice of candidate for Con (unlikley in the first place) then there could be a backlash vote for a reasonable UKIP candidate but
    a) I think this is the only constituency where any signifcant gain could be made and
    b) it would ensure a victory on a breeze for Adrian Sanders.

    So it won’t happen.

    We have plenty of evidence that Con voters have a bit more savvy and don’t do the ‘turkeys for Xmas’ thing.

  28. crossbat11

    @Roger Mexico

    “Certainly UKIP voters are disproportionately male (10% men, 4% women in today’s YouGov)”

    And I presume the other 86% are transexuals then? I must admit, I did have my doubts about the gender credentials of that UKIP canvasser who knocked my door the other day!

    Don’t be ridiculous!! You know perfectly well that I meant that all UKIP supporters are 10% man, 4% woman and 86% hermaphroditic lizard from the Planet Zog.

    It must be true – I read it on the internet.

  29. Apropos de rien the internet is great. Just looking up bio of Alonso Mudarra, a 16th c Spenish Vihuelist.

    It says “Mudarra was born in 1510. He had occupations including film composer and guitarist.”

  30. No matter how well they do in the 2014 Euros, UKIP support will melt away very quickly when the general election is called. They’ll be no where near coming third, not least because they will get nothing like the same airtime as the three main parties.

    The Lib Dems will end on about 16% and UKIP will shrink to low single digits. That might still be enough to deprive the Tories of victory in a handful of seats but most of the actual UKIP vote will fold back into the Conservative vote.

    Trust me, I’m an expert – 90% of their vote is candy floss.

  31. @Edward – “UKIP is a party that relies on people to understand maths, stats and other fancy things people like Blair think people pay too much importance to (See his EU speech).

    And that means the declining middle class, educated whites.”

    Firstly, hello – don’t think I’ve seen you post before.

    Secondly, what you’ve posted above is tripe – potentially offensive tripe to boot. I’m sure it’s a typo that you’ll wish to retract, but suggesting that it’s only white people (middle class or otherwise) who can understand maths and statistics is a dangerous avenue to stroll down.

    For example, I could point to the highly white Sec of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson (technically upper class I guess, but you get the picture) who so completely fails to understand statistics and maths that he believes a badger cull will help solve the bTB problem.

    Assigning academic abilities to a particular ethnic group is basically racist, and extremely unhelpful when discussing polls and politics. I’m sure you’re not a racist, but you may wish to rephrase your post.

  32. I’ve seen suggestions elsewhere that the “shy Tory” factor is stronger in phone interviews than online. Could the “shy UKIP” factor which Roger Mexico suggests be the cause of the differences in vote share between polling companies? If this shy factor was common to right-wing parties, it might show up in the minor party figures for the BNP (and English Democrats, if anyone offers them as an option), and yet not in the overall figures for other minor parties. With average scores over a sufficiently long period, would it be possible to get reasonable data on this?

  33. After reading @Edward’s post regarding UKIP’s Youtube presence and Anthony’s information that UKIP do better in online polls, I wanted to check out whether there was an obvious link between viewing online material and VI.

    It’s not scientific by any stretch of the imagination, but a quick search reveals the UKIP Webmaster site on Youtube, with regular (daily) posting of videos. There are currently over 900 videos available, with the headline video entitled ‘The Con Dem party’ having received over 39,000 hits, although this is over two years.

    After that, things start to look a bit marginal. The site only has 6,374 subscribers, and scrolling through the first 30 videos listed it becomes apparent that an individual video getting more than a thousand hits is unusual.

    There may be other UKIP outlets online, but based on these numbers, I would personally doubt that the UKIP online activity has a great deal to do with the fact that their support is higher in online polls, and I suspect that we need to look for other reasons for why this is the case.

  34. As I’ve said before, backing Obama to win but noticed on twitter

    #WhyImNotVotingForObama

    Is currently trending at number 2

  35. paulcroft

    “Apropos de rien the internet is great. Just looking up bio of Alonso Mudarra, a 16th c Spenish Vihuelist.

    It says “Mudarra was born in 1510. He had occupations ……”

    Good God. “Had”! Is he dead then?

  36. The only way to properly compare the Lib Dems and UKIP support is by either relegating the Lib Dems to ‘others’ with UKIP or by putting UKIP as a main party in all polls.

    Sometimes the higher UKIP polls are dismissed because they were included in the main parties list but the Lib Dems have this advantage in ALL polls.

  37. JBD:

    Sadly yes: he hadn’t been well for ages apparently.

  38. @ Tinged Fringe (from a few threads ago)

    “Who would you vote for in the US?
    Obama – 70%
    Romney – 7%
    Wouldn’t vote – 10%
    DK – 12%

    With non-voters & DKs removed –
    Obama – 90%
    Romney – 10%

    Obama has done a good/bad job –
    Good – 76
    Bad – 12
    Net +64
    Unsurprisingly Labour and LibDem voters are more likely to support Obama and think he’s done a good job.
    I’m sure that politicians anywhere would kill for +64 net approval.”

    Well this just goes to show you that British voters are highly informed and highly intelligent.

    And you know, maybe this election can be a unifying moment for your political leaders. Much in the way that Hurricane Sandy brought together President Obama and Chris Christie and other disparate leaders, Hurricane Mitt Romney can bring together your party leaders. Maybe the Cabinet and the Shadow Cabinet (and even some leading Nats) can sit and watch the election together. You know, get some cupcakes, some fried chicken wings, some vodka and tequila (in case Romney wins), some champage (in case Obama wins), stay anxious and happy together.

    I think the reason why there are Tories who like Obama is not because Obama is an Eisenhower Republican but actually because he’s a McGovern Democrat. I feel like the Cameron wing of the party is very similar culturally to those who are McGovern Democrats. I’m sure that they’ve shopped in the same stores (in the case of John Kerry anyway). I think that helps. The biggest difference is on economic issues (and perhaps passion for certain social and environmental issues). But even there, you can see an ironic difference. Wine track Democrats (as opposed to beer track Democrats) are generally more supportive of government programs for the needy and working poor. They’re actually more likely to support the candidates who don’t come from upper class or middle class backgrounds (in primaries and in non-partisan elections). On a whole, they will subscribe to the Gordon Brown school of economics. But they’re not exactly going to be super passionate about it. It’s more proforma than anything. When there are passionate speeches about the plight of the poor, they don’t come with scathing, resentful attacks on the rich. I think Tories who pay any attention to U.S. politics feel less turned off by it. I think it works in the same way that Blair’s upbringing and attitude towards the wealthy helped convert Tories.

    And even the right wing of the Tories strike me as rank and file California Republicans. Like rank and file Tories, California Republicans are deeply conservative but they’re not a bunch of psychotic lunatics. The Thatcher wing of the Tories has no interest in teabagging.

    I went out canvassing this afternoon. I was actually canvassing with a British ex-pat. Amazing turnout of volunteers for GOTV efforts.

  39. SoCalLiberal

    “(and even some leading Nats)” – and you don’t mention getting in some good malt whisky! Shame on you! :-)

    “generally more supportive of government programs for the needy and working poor.”

    As Oxfam Scotland has pointed out after a poll here, the discussion on public services (and SLab seems to think WMD are a public service) can’t be disassociated from tax policy.

    A total of 76 per cent said they agreed taxes should be raised from people with the highest income and wealth.

    Meanwhile, 52 per cent said the current system was not fair.

    In addition, 57 per cent of those quizzed said they were against lowering taxes for ?everyone, and 74 per cent said they believed Scottish public services should mainly be funded through the tax system.

    Judith Robertson, head of Oxfam Scotland, said the survey “clearly shows Scots want a fairer tax system”.

    She said: “At the moment, the poorest Scots are taxed more heavily than the richest. In 2010-11 the poorest fifth of people paid about 38.2 per cent of their income in tax – the richest fifth paid 33.6 per cent.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/76-of-scots-believe-the-very-rich-should-pay-more-in-tax-1-2614197

  40. @ Old Nat

    Latest PPP poll out shows that North Carolina is tied at 49% apeice. PPP has been highly accurate (though they have been shown to skew slightly Republican overall actually). They technically said that it was Romney at 49.4% and Obama at 49.2%.

    But all the more reason for your son to consider tactically voting.

    I think the President can win NC with those numbers because a great GOTV operation (if he actually has one) can make up a .2% deficit. I’m waiting on the crosstabs for the poll (they’re apparently going to release NC and Florida polls together) to see if Obama is moving up with independents there. This weekend, independents seem to be moving strongly in the President’s direction.

  41. @ Old Nat

    “and you don’t mention getting in some good malt whisky! Shame on you!”

    Oh, sorry. Well they can bring that too. It can be like hunkering down during a hurricane. David Cameron and Nick Clegg can sit there together under a cashmere blanket as they watch updated precinct numbers come in from Virginia. And Alex Salmond can sit there relaxed and chuck back his malt whiskey (while also sneaking it into a distracted and anxious Jim Murphy’s chocolate malt as a prank). Ed Milliband and Jeremy Hunt can sit there and watch pointless media interviews and comiserate that they wished that BBC reporters were as non-aggressive as American reporters when it came to interviewing nerdy politicians. Nicola Stugeon and Harriet Harman can sit with laptops and microwave popcorn and M and Ms mixed together in a bowl, actually looking at real county by county numbers to analyze the race instead of being frightened. :)

    Re the Scottish tax numbers:

    I don’t mind someone extremely wealthy paying next to nothing in taxes as long as those tax breaks were given due to activities that were economically beneficial to everyone else. It’s a lot easier for wine track Democrats who want higher taxes because they’re not looking at a 50p rate. Clinton income tax rates were 39% for the top rates and almost nobody ever payed that becasue of deductions.

  42. “A total of 76 per cent said they agreed taxes should be raised from people with the highest income and wealth.”

    Any mention of how many of those 76% are in said ‘highest income and wealth’ bracket?

    Turkeys vote for some other turkey to attend the Christmas meal. :)

  43. Surely a better way would be to make all those earning over, say, £40,000 (i.e. the wealthy) pay a bit more? That way, people at the bottom of society (i.e. on low pay/benefits) can be protected against further falls in general living standards, and it’s only those who can afford it (i.e. those earning over £40,000) who will have to pay more.

  44. If polls are any use whatsoever, tomorrow Obama should comfortably win a second term.

    If Romney wins, we’ll have to ask ourselves whether polling in the States provides much of use. I suppose it would pick up a landslide!

    Based on the polls, Romney will be struggling to hold ANY of the swing states.

  45. Interesting articles on Obama & Romney by Tim Montgomerie, behind the paywall in The Times:-

    “Vote Mitt: the world needs this deal-maker”

    “Obama makes speeches. Romney makes deals” gives a flavour of his view.

    I concur entirely with his opinion of Obama, and he paints a picture of Romney which you don’t read on UKPR much :-)

  46. What are the odds on UKIP getting a seat in the next Parliament? Less than Respect I would think.

  47. Extremely difficult to predict how UKIP will do in a 2015 general election. It will almost certainly be less than the 2014 European Parliament election, but that won’t necessarily narrow things down much.

    The list of unknown variables includes:

    * What the politics of the European Parliament is like post-2014. We could see a rise of anti-austerity socialists, eurosceptics or dodgy borderline fasicsts which could have all sorts of effects.

    * The European Commission are currently doing most of UKIP’s job for them. Just when things calm down, they seem to find a way of saying something that causes outrage, the latest idea being a bigger EU budget at the time when everyone else is tightening their belts.

    * The Conservatives having to tone down their normal Euosepcticism due to being in coalition with the Lib Dems. That makes it easier for UKIP to argue all the main parties are as bad as each other.

    * How the eurozone will work out economically and politically is anyone’s guess.

    * As against that, if resistance to the current duirection of the EU strengthens on the continent (and there is certainly signs of this on the austerity front), voters may see less need to have UKIP in the national parliament.

    Predicting UKIP’s performance in 2015 is going to be about as reliable as predicting the result of the 2020 US president election.

  48. @ Colin

    I concur entirely with his opinion of Obama, and he paints a picture of Romney which you don’t read on UKPR much…
    ———–
    I haven’t read the Times, ‘cos I’m not going to pay for Mr Murdoch’s ‘paper’.

    Romney mainly makes leveraged deals. Isn’t it ‘leveraged’ tax cuts which he’s promising?
    8-)

  49. By 2015 the Tories may have positioned themselves as being very anti current EU, but pro Europe as a place to do business. I don’t know how they would do this, other than offer an in/out referendum in say 2017. I don’t think a referendum on the basis for a new treaty to repatriate powers, would be a good idea to fight a 2015 election. It won’t satisfy people who want to leave the EU and any debate is likely to be confusing.

  50. This election could be over quite quickly. RCP is showing Obama now with a 0.2% lead in Virginia. If Obama picks up Virginia, we can go to bed straight away as he would have won.

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