Back at the start of November I did a post looking at the level of support UKIP had in the polls and the widely differing results from different pollsters, at the time ICM and ComRes had them as low as 3% or 4%, while Opinium and Survation had them up on 10% or 12%.

Well since then UKIP have increased their support across the board, so here’s an update of the same graph I used then, again taking the three last three months or so of data:

As you can see, while everyone except MORI have UKIP higher (the drop in UKIP’s support from MORI is because of their November poll, which had UKIP on only 3%. Their December poll had them at 7%), there continues to be a big spread between different polling companies, from around 7% all the way up to around 14% to 16%.

Apart from Populus (who only had one poll in the period), the divide continues to be between online and telephone polling, with telephone polls averaging at around 7% for UKIP, and online polls averaging at around 11% for UKIP (although even within those groups, there is significant variation – YouGov, for example, tend to show figures closer to telephone pollsters, Survation tend to show the highest levels of UKIP support due to prompting)

185 Responses to “How much support do UKIP have… an update”

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    @”self deluding amateur nonsense ”

    But that’s what most of us are here Peter-amateur I mean-and so are you now ….aren’t you?

    As for self deluding-why be rude about a pastime enjoyed by millions-including most contributors here ?

  2. @ COLIN

    I don’t think Peter was being rude.

    The argument was correct that UKIP will find it difficult to win seats at Westminster on a FPTP vote. Personally I think their only chance of winning a seat would be to put up a celebrity candidate in a by-election in the south of England.

    UKIP will take votes off the Tories and will make results in some of the constituencies more difficult to predict. If I were a Tory MP in a the south of England with a majority of say 5000 or less, I would be a little worried.

  3. Colin,

    There is a big difference between amateurism her with individuals posting their thoughts an amateurism from a would be national political party.

    I could get my mates round to work on my car and take it round a race track but if a Gran Prix team approached a race like that people would laugh.

    My beef with UKIP is that it’s strategy seems to be very much in line with what is being posted here.

    It thinks it can make inroads against the Tories because it is gaining Tory voters, but it actually has a much better target in the LibDems.

    Labour and Tory posters here may argue, but they show they know what their parties know, how the system works and how to make it work for them.

    Most Labour posters here would be honest enough to admit ,and often do, that if they win the next election it will probably be more because people don’t want another Cameron lead Tory government that a Miliband lead Labour one.

    That shows a solid understanding of political realities that I don’t see from UKIP.


  4. NickP,

    Agreed, I think Labour will be the best to exploit ex Libdem votes while UKIP steal tory ones. If the two coalition parties lose out to the two opposition parties labour will pick up almost if not all of the seats that change hands in England.

    I still don’t think UKIP will win a single seat, but the post like others before is about looking at the polls and trying to determine where the best chances of winning one is… and it isn’t the Tory shires, it is marginal Libdems.

    UKIP won’t win seats but they will cost the Tories seats. They may well cost the Libdems as many but that although slim is their best chance of winning one.


  5. petercairns
    In 1997 and 2001 there was a hairsbreadth between Lab and Con in Boston/Skegness. I agree it won’t go to UKIP but it won’t necessarily stay Tory.

    In my own dismal home town we had a Labour MP with a 10,000 majority up to 2005 He wasn’t a bad constituency MP ,a Tory elected with a majority of under 200 then who wasn’t a bad constituency MP either, until He got a junior ministerial post when He turned into the proverbial nodding dog and in 2010 said incumbent was returned with 51% of the votes.

    However, I agree regarding UKIP I suspect my children’s annual trek to Butlins Skeggy with probably remain safe from the clutches of the Faragistas for the foreseeable future.

  6. @PeterCairns

    “UKIP won’t win seats but they will cost the Tories seats. They may well cost the Libdems as many but that although slim is their best chance of winning one.”

    Yep, that’s all part of the cunning plan! I was reading an interview with Farage yesterday and it’s quite obvious that beyond the overt objective of furthering the anti EU cause in this country, he’s hell bent on damaging a Cameron led Tory Party. It would appear from what he said in the interview that it’s got quite personal between him and Cameron, probably based on Cameron’s rather extreme description of UKIP as a party of “loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists”.

    Cameron made those remarks way back in 2006, probably when it was good politics to do so in the context of decontaminating the Tory brand. He probably felt then that UKIP were then a party that didn’t have to be taken seriously and he could afford to use them as a convenient punch-bag in order to affirm his liberal Conservative views but, looking back, wasn’t it an extraordinary thing for a Conservative leader to say? In effect, he was calling quite a large portion of his party’s potential natural support a bunch of rather unpleasant lunatics. Now that Farage is fast gaining political credibility, and his party is rapidly gathering support, I wonder if Cameron’s rather intemperate attack and ill-advised words, will now come back to haunt him in 2015. It would appear that Farage is positively drooling at the prospect of destroying Cameron.

    Another little interesting morsel in yesterday’s Farage interview was a hint that he might be happy to talk some turkey with Labour if Cruddas’s recently expressed views on the EU gained some currency in the party.

    These are indeed interesting political times and, as Anthony has already suggested in his recent Opus on the subject, anybody who comes on here peddling psephological certainties about what will happen in two years time should be treated with the utmost scepticism.

    All bets still off for me!

  7. Credit where credit is due Farage has moved the image if not the reality of UKIP far from that of simply the BNP in Blazers.

  8. Regarding UKIP. I think they have a great chance of picking up the anti-Tory\Coalition tactical vote.

    And Farage has done a lot to de-toxify the brand and therefore Labour voters should not have too much problem voting UKIP.

    The plan for a UKIP-Lab pact by Farage is amusing and it should re-inforce the anti-Tory tactical voters.

    At the moment Farage is being quite smart. Do we have a idea of the UKIP target seats?

  9. Paul H-J,

    I’m certainly more positive about the Lib Dems than I was in early 2010. Once again, my inerring ability to disagree with the vast majority of the British peoples continues!

    Back to UKIP: there is one UKIP candidate who I’d vote for and that’s Tim Congdon who is there economics spokesman. He’s the kind of Tory I like (dry as bones and with very little to say about social policy) and not coincidentally he’s now in UKIP.

  10. A slight change of tack –

    This is a slightly alarming reminder of the kind of briefing that began in the run up to the second Iraqi invasion. I’ve no idea whether this story is true or not, but the great shame of the Iraq war is that if it is, there will be a large body of scepticism about any Syrian weapons. The biggest sin regarding crying wolf too often isn’t that you keep doing things that are wrong, but that when you really do need to do something that is right, no one believes you.

  11. Alec

    Iran has been on the verge of developing nuclear weapons since 1980 but it has had no effect on public credibility

  12. ” Sir George Young, the Chief Whip, has told MPs that such a vote ( Boundary changes) could be very close.”

    The Times.


  13. But which one Colin? The vote to implement the changes, or the vote to reject the Lords amendment to the Electoral Registration Bill that may well pass on Monday and stop the report coming forward at all?

  14. AW-this is the quote from page 1.

    “”The boundary review, which would give Mr Cameron about 20 extra safe seats and which some Tories regard as the key to victory in 2015, emerged as one of the sores likely to run through the second half of the coalition. Senior Conservatives are reaching out to the minor parties in the Commons to try to muster enough votes to trump a Lib-Lab alliance. Sir George Young, the Chief Whip, has told MPs that such a vote could be very close.”


  15. The SNP have already said they will back the changes. This is partly for two reasons – they wont be affected by them, as their nominal number of MPs remains the same. And secondly, because they see anything that increase the likelihood of a Tory Government in 2015 as increasing the chances of a Yes vote in 2014….

  16. ‘the reality of UKIP far from that of simply the BNP in Blazers.’

    I love that line; first time I have heard it!

  17. It’s true that Eastern England is probably UKIP’s best area (they even control Ramsey Town Council[1] in Cambs) but Boston and Skegness illustrates UKIP’s problem. Their vote actually fell slightly there in 2010. This is because an energetic (and high-spending) candidate, Dick Horsnell[2], stood there in 2005, but not in 2010.

    Of course localised successes are the usual way to get going for a Party under FPTP, but there isn’t any indication that UKIP is really organized enough to do that any place of even constituency size in the UK. They made no net councillor gains in the 2012 Locals, even though they were at 9% in the YouGov poll nearest – the same they are at the moment.

    Their biggest problem though is a more extreme version of the Tories’ – their maximum support level is low. Lord Ashcroft’s mega poll in November showed that of the 3084 who said “I have not finally decided which party to vote for and may well
    change my mind”[3] UKIP only got 31% as a possible choice, compared to Con 44%, Lab 51%, LD 38% and ‘Another party’ 18%. Given that there will be a ‘politeness’ factor – some respondents will say that they are considering all options – and that the 3084 figure will certainly include many current UKIP voters[4], it suggest a low maximum.

    On the subject of UKIP, apologies for a mistake I made when commenting on Anthony’s New Year magnum opus (which was name-checked in today’s Guardian, I see, though they complained it was “not short”). I wrote that:

    […] less than 3% of current UKIP voters said they would consider voting Tory in future. Yep not 30%, 3%. Whether that anger will last is another matter, but it’s another barrier for Cameron to overcome.

    Actually what I should have said was that only 5% of the 57% of UKIP voters who did not vote Tory in 2010 would consider doing so now. I can’t seem to extract the percentage of how many of the 43% ex-Tories who said UKIP could be tempted back. It’s still not very good for the Conservatives and again emphasises how few potential voters they have outside those who chose them in 2010.

    [1] Yep, a whole parish council equivalent. Not to be confused with Ramsey Town Commissioners which is in the Isle of Man.

    [2] Also now in the Isle of Man. Where he ran the election campaign for the local equivalent of the Lib Dems in 2011.

    [3] There’s an odd effect here, where not everyone in this ‘unfinalised’ group currently giving a VI then gives that Party as an option they would consider. So only 90% of those currently saying they would vote Conservative but might change, then give Conservative as one of their possible choices!. Given that the percentage is about the same for Lab and LD and there was a similar phenomenon in Lord A’s May figures, I suspect this is due to confusing question design, rather than anything political.

    [4] As already pointed out, a very large survey mainly designed to find out about UKIP, failed to include any cross-tabs for current UKIP voters. For comparison the ‘unfinalised’ group included 17% of current Cons, 17% Labs, 34% LDs. Given that only 27% of current UKIP-ers voted for them in 2010, you would expect their percentage to be high.

  18. @Alec

    It may be an outdated view but large parts of the world were much better run as colonies , Syria being one of them.

  19. I am utterly confused by the Conservative party decision to put up political posters about the benefits vote. It’s no where near an election, any poll movement will almost certainly fade back to the status quo, and it allows Labour to talk about how the Conservatives are trying to start some class warfare of their own. And it’ll diminish how much the Conservatives could have used the line when there is an election…

    The only possible reason I can come up with for this is it’s being done to quell internal troubles within the Conservative party. It’s not a message to general voters at all, but to the right wing saying “Don’t rock the boat, look we’re still right wing.”

    Which makes me wonder what exactly was happening that required this much immediate effort and expenditure?

  20. Roger Mexico
    Clearly UKIP could never be what the SDP was in the early 80s. To break through, one has to have an appeal to the centre ground. If Cameron’s Cons are experiencing that difficulty, then how much more difficult for a UKIP type party?

    The SDP had to be swallowed when the realities of FPTP began to dawn on its membership.

  21. Wolf,

    Quite right,

    Our often brutal undemocratic quasi-racist rule was much better than the usually brutal undemocratic quasi-racist rule they have now.

    It may have been authoritarian and unrepresentative but the trains ran on time, a bit like Mussolini’s Italy!


  22. @Petercairns

    And the biggest irony is that most of the people who claim that Arab states aren’t suited to democracy are generally the people who complain the loudest about foreign imperialism and colonialism.

    I’m not a fan of either home-grown dictators or colonialism myself, but the logic today seems to be that Arabs are quite content to be oppressed, subjugated and massacred just as long as the person ordering all the oppression, subjugation and massacring is of the same nationality.

  23. Anyone who thinks that colonism is dead should read confessions of an economic hit man, the methods may have changed but it’s still the same system

    As for Syria is anyone surprised that we are arming al qaida to depose of the Syrian regime, it’s not even a secret, everyone knows that the “rebels” are al qaida

  24. Chris

    We and the us have fought a long war since the 50s to prevent the outbreak of democracy in the middle east, well not just the middle east, Africa, Latin America, southeast Asia and central America as well. The problem with democracy is that those countries might(and it’s only a might) start acting on their own people’s interest rather than ours.

  25. “it’s not even a secret, everyone knows that the “rebels” are al qaida”

    Or, more accurately, the rebels are a disparate group of fighters (same as in any uprising), some of which are Al-Qaeda sympathisers. Others aren’t.

    But apparently this is enough of a reason to do nothing and hope Assad crushes the rebellion as quickly as possible, regardless of how many tens of thousands of innocent Syrian civilians get killed in the process.

    I don’t dispute there’s reasons to worry about the rebels, but I have even bigger problems with people who use this as an excuse to make Assad a saint.

  26. @Roger Mexico

    “Actually what I should have said was that only 5% of the 57% of UKIP voters who did not vote Tory in 2010 would consider doing so now. I can’t seem to extract the percentage of how many of the 43% ex-Tories who said UKIP could be tempted back. It’s still not very good for the Conservatives and again emphasises how few potential voters they have outside those who chose them in 2010.”

    This is the problem that the Conservatives have in a nutshell and it was underlined in the September 2011 YouGov poll that was commissioned by IPPR. Anthony, in his opus magnum as you aptly described it, floated a lot of best case scenarios where the Tories could defy the gloomy predictions and pick up extra voters, but it’s very hard to imagine any of them coming to fruition in such a way that would allow them to out-perform their 2010 showing. Shore up the base (see current poster campaign on benefits as an attempt to do this) and they frighten the horses elsewhere in the electorate who are reminded of all the reasons they don’t instinctively like the party, and move to the centre ground and they leak votes to UKIP or DKs on their right flank.

    I think they’re in an existential electoral pickle as a party with far less room for manoeuvre than Labour demographically, politically and regionally. Let Scotland go independent and usher in the boundary changes, and you could see them winning in England every now and again, but as a party attracting support from all the age, social and ethnic groups, and from all regions of the UK, I think it’ more or less Goodnight Vienna time.

  27. @Wolf

    I for one agree but then it’s unfashionable to be proud of our Empire as was. I thought that on the whole the British Empire was a magnificent achievement.

  28. Chris

    I don’t advocate doing nothing although what I think would not make any difference. The main reason there has not been a western “Intervention” is the Russian warships anchored off the Syrian coast. What I don’t like is being continually lied to.

  29. Toh

    Let’s ask the Irish or the Indians or the Chinese but at least we were not as bad as the Belgians, perhaps?

  30. “No matter what happens
    We have got
    The Maxim gun
    And they, have not”

  31. Actually, I think the far better reason for not intervening is that, unfortunately, there is very little the West can do. With most of the fighting taking place within cities (unlike Libya where cities were largely in the hands of one side or the other) air intervention would either be of little use or cause massive civilian casualties. Assad wouldn’t last five minutes against a ground assault, but we know from Iraq that it’s what happens afterwards that is the problem. There is the option of directly arming the rebels, I suppose, but that is an massively risky course of action that could backfire horribly, and I can’t imagine any Western government wanting to risk that.

    All the west can really do to help the rebels is not object them getting arms from elsewhere in the Middle East. And even if they did it would probably make no difference anyway. An arms embargo would require the whole-hearted co-operation, and a lot of effort, from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. As they are all sick of Assad, this is unlikely. If the West puts pressure on other countries to stop supplying arms to rebels, they’ll get them on the black market instead.

    The only other option would have been to side with Assad, supply him arms, and let him to his worst once he’s won, in the interests of “stability”. That would be utterly morally indefensible. All in all, what’s happening now is broadly similar to what would happen if the West did nothing at all. And the horrible reality is that what’s happening now is probably the least bad option.

    IMHO, the West should have tried harder to negotiate peaceful solutions in Libya and Syria. It would probably have made no difference in either case, but they still should have tried. But the amount of apologism for Assad going on right now is absolutely shocking. At least in the Iraq protests you knew who was protesting against innocent people being killed.

  32. wolf

    It may be an outdated view but large parts of the world were much better run as colonies , Syria being one of them.

    Er, except that Syria was never a colony. The nearest in recent times was the French Mandate between the Wars, but that wasn’t for very long and was nothing like a conventional colony (no colonial settlement for example).

    Or are you calling for the reestablishment of the Ottoman Empire? That would certainly be one way of dealing with the Balkans, Israel, the Greek economic problems etc, but I can’t see it being universally popular.

  33. Where are our rival new thread monitors?

  34. I’m asleep.

  35. NEW THREAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Take that Missis Amber.]

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