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”

1 2 3 4
  1. I have posted on another thread and it still says “SqueezedMiddle Your comment is awaiting moderation. ”

    Any reason why?

  2. Sad but events in Belfast won’t be doing UKIP any harm at all.

  3. @WOLF

    How do the events in Belfast and UKIP connect?

  4. @Smukesh

    There’s already been a lot of misrepresentation that the protests are because “The Union Jack has been banned!”. Instead of the actual decision to only fly the union flag at local authority sites including Belfast City Hall on special occasions and bank holidays.

  5. Enemies of the UK attacking the flag, Liberals betraying loyal supporters of the Queen. Germany and the IRA were always best friends.

  6. @Phil – fpt “At the moment I don’t think that they [Survation] can be considered a serious player.”

    Survation did not cover themselves in glory with their London Mayoral polling admittedly (Johnson 55%, Livingstone 45%, result 52%:48%). The locals poll was also out, though they did get the Con/Lab gap correct:

    Rallings and Thrasher 2012 local election prediction
    Con 34%, Lab 37%, LD 18%
    Con 26%, Lab 32%, LD 15%
    Con 32%, Lab 38%, LD 15%

    Ashcroft/Populus …Feltam and Heston
    Con 30%, Lab 52%, LD 10%, Others (including UKIP) 8%
    Con 29%, Lab 53%, LD 7%, UKIP 7%, Others 4%
    Con 27.7%, Lab 54.4%, LD 5.9%, UKIP 5..5%, Others 6.1%

    Survation… Leicester South
    Con 19.8%, Lab 60.8%, LD 14.1%, UKIP 5%, Others 0.3%
    Con 15.1%, Lab 57.8%, LD 22.5%, UKIP 2.9%, Others 1.6%

    Survation… Barnsley Central
    Con 13%, Lab 63%, LD 6%, UKIP 9%
    Con 8.3%, Lab 60.8%, LD 4.2%, UKIP 12.2%

    So I don’t think their record is that bad in byelections, compared to other companies who have taken larger samples… plus byelection polling must be a bit of a thankless task given the relative volativity and uncertainty about turnout..

  7. @WOLF

    Still not sure why that should garner support specifically for UKIP…It may turn into support for whoever is at the helm,the Tories.

  8. David Cameron thinks ukipers are really odd

  9. Richard in Norway,

    Even stopped clocks…

  10. It looks like Cammy is trying to be all things to all people, and building up hype about his big EU speech coming up, sadly I think it won’t live up to expectations.

    Andrew Marr today talking with him about possibly limiting the free movement of peoples, personally, I think that’s all Cammy needs to do to make the EU perfect.

    It’s the free movement of peoples that is in my opinion the biggest flaw in the EU, as it has caused countries like Britian to have too many people to provide services for while countries like Poland and Lithuania are having to seek help from countries like Ukraine and Belarus to meet their skills shortage.

    Also its the free movement principle that makes it almost impossible for any left wing government to collect a higher tax rate, as we’ve seen in France, the rich are just fleeing to Belgium, UK or Switzerland, and rich greeks threaten to move to Bulgaria or Cyprus should the government try and enforce already existing tax laws.

    The free movement principle worked when it was only 10 countries all of comparitable wealth, but in today’s EU it causes more problems than it solves.

    A better option would be to have a system that we have for commonwealth immigrants, where you still have to apply for a visa and such, but if your coming from an EU country you are looked on more favourably, and the process is easier.

    So you still encourage labour to move where you need it, but it’s not completely unrestricted. as usual a balanced approach is the one that works best.

  11. Although this is the wrong thread for it, I was intrigued to see Labour ahead 30-22 on which party is better to handle welfare reform.

    I suppose it’s a matter of whether people see a party as being well-meaning, and the Tories’ continuing nasty party reputation is precluding them from being seen as well-meaning.

    As a consequence Labour should be far more confident about the issue than they are, as this polls shows they still hold the moral high ground. The Tories can prattle on all they like, but contrary to what every blathering Westminster village idiot pundit thinks, it may actually be hurting them.

  12. @Billy Bob

    Thanks – I agree, their recent by-election polling wasn’t bad at all, and that’s to their credit in a difficult context shared by all pollsters.

    More accuracy is required for national polling, and because the more established online companies have relevant data from earlier GEs, it helps them.
    YouGov were closer in the mayoral election perhaps because they had such experience to draw on,

  13. @MitM
    Those are very cogent points, even though I might take issue about the EU being “perfect” if the only change is to get rid of unrestricted movement of labour.

  14. @Roger M

    Sorry, but I have to take issue with your comments critical of my earlier post on the consistency of YouGov polls and sampling.

    To be clear, what I meant was that this. What YouGov seem to be doing effectively is to minimise the impact of the randomness within the sample on VI, not to avoid there being a random element. The weightings do contribute to this, and the key is to find means of weighting using factors that are highly correlated with VI, in which case there is less scope for fluctuations in VI depending on who exactly is selected from the panel.

  15. Internet forums and polls tend to be very Angry (White) Man. And UKIP get a lot of their support from that section of society. I guess that is why those polls show them having higher levels of support.

    Is it reflected in voting patterns? No. Not normally.

    If it were the case, the Conservatives would have won the last GE comfortably.

  16. It does look a bit like UKIP voters are a little ashamed to say they vote UKIP over the phone.

  17. You can Guarantee which Poll Sky News with be headlining.

    Has Farage got share in BSKyB?

  18. So the last thread was a Scottish thread after all.

  19. Better not mention the prevalence of Saltires here in Argyll.

  20. @ Steve

    Sometimes I switch to Sky news when BBC have someone sitting on the sofa or whatever and have to say although I am very suspicious of them with the Murdoch links I’m not really detecting any bias from them. They tend to like sensationalism and less docu style stuff that the BBC favours but I don’t see them as a Fox News type channel.

    I wonder if the Tory press are waking up to the threat of UKIP the Survation poll linked to the Daily Mail article which was very much vote UKIP get Milliband. Equally a lot of replies from those angry white men seemed to be ‘don’t care’.

  21. MimM:


    I am more and more envious of your close relationship with so many famous poiiticians.

    What does he call you?

  22. Paul

    Who do you think it was that told him about signing off with LOL in the first place? :P

    And mostly I call him DC (his initials) and he calls me CD (my initials)

  23. MinM

    Oh: he said he calls you YT.

    I didn’t ask why.

  24. I don’t get it

    What does YT stand for?

  25. I dunno – he didn’t say. He seemed fond of you tho’.

  26. Anthony

    from Ian BellHerald 1st December.

    “UKIP ……….claiming support at 8% [in Scotland], double its previous figure, but that survey involved a 3% margin of error and reflected a continuing Tory decline. ”

    3% MOE on Scottish sample?

  27. Guess I’ll never know.

    Still it’s nice to see Vlad has finally found someone else to give that spare Russian passport to. He’s been trying to get my photo and details to put on it for months.

  28. MintM

    Haven’t we all ! [LOL]

    I thought you callled him Vladdo anyway.

  29. I personally think that the level of UKIP support is between 10 and 15% at present, however it is likely that it will reach 15 at least by the May election. They will need roughly 12% for an MP in Boston and Skegness based on a Ratio formula (assuming that the CON support is around 32 and LAB around 40), which is a more accurate method of forecasting than UNS for UKIP. My forecasts strangely match up within a couple of percent with UKIP’s vote shares in the Middlesborough, Croydon North, and Rotherham by-elections when done nationwide. Their vote is more concentrated than one might think, they only would need a few percent more to get MPs in Devon as well. In fact their support is very well concentrated in the South West, I expect that many retired former Lib Dem voters may turn to UKIP in the South West, for view of it being a party of protest (exactly why they voted Lib Dem last time round).

  30. Only in private :P

  31. True :)

    If November by-election seats are matched (excluding Corby as it didn’t have a UKIP candidate in 2010 therefore there is nothing to compare to) according to a ratio method UKIP are on 14% nationwide, which seems quite reasonable. This would mean they could get a few seats (Boston and Skegness, Devon North, and Devon East look most likely though if they put enough work in, the County Council elections will be an excellent indicator of their support in these areas)

  32. Shevii

    “Vote UKIP get Milliband – don’t care” does seem to be a common (official?) mantra of UKIP blogger(s).

    UKIP may be so far to the right of Cons that the distance between UKIPand NewLabour doesn’t seem so much greater.

    From the Left, Labour would hope to be distingushed from Cons, and so would Conswish to distance themselves from Labour, but the UKIP defamation of EM as indistinguishable from DC is exactly what the SNP needs to discredit SLAB.

  33. Or maybe as Milliband is seen as likely to win anyway, Ukip just don’t care. If the Tories were closer to Lab, then maybe people would be more hesitant to waste their vote. But when the result is pretty obvious, you may as well vote however you want and to hell with the consequences.

  34. Almost all UKIP voters will stay in the UKIP camp come 2015 because they don’t mind if the Conservatives lose to Labour anyway. The whole reason many are voting for UKIP is that they don’t see Cameron’s party as a Conservative party and want an alternative.

    And besides I doubt many people will be voting tactically next time. Just ask any former Lib Dem voter who voted for them tactically to encourage a Lab-Lib coalition!

  35. @Alexander J Curtis

    Considering that UKIP have yet to win any seats, I wonder how you quantify “more accurate”?


    When the ratio method is used the forecast results for constituencies with recent by-elections is within a few of percent of the actual shares of the vote for each candidate.

    For example if UKIP is on 14% nationally, under a ratio method (assuming CON is 30, LAB is 40, LIB is 10) the following forecasts for UKIP vote shares can be made:

    Middlesborough: 15% (actual result: 11.79%)
    Rotherham: 22.32% (actual result: 21.79%)
    Croydon North: 6.73% (actual result: 5.69%)

    In quantitative terms this is reasonably accurate.

    The results for UKIP gains are as follows on the forecast:

    Boston and Skegness: 37.17%
    Bournemouth West: 33.06%
    Cambridgeshire North West: 34.61%
    Devon North: 36.07%
    Devon East: 35.95%
    Spelthorne: 35.79%

    I think these percentages are reasonable, but the County Council elections will be our best way of confirming that.

  37. We did see an analysis of where UKIP votes come from. I can’t find the figures, but remember that UKIP supporters were by no means all ex-Tories. Presumably the ex-Labour people and other anti-Tories wouldn’t be affected by the ‘Vote UKIP get Milliband’ slogan.

  38. If you’re a “small state Tory”, if your priority is to see what’s left of the State hived off to the private sector, and cutting what you can’t sell off (e.g. welfare) then you are liable to be really rather pleased with this government.

    But if you are more of a traditional Tory, whose priority is, you know, “conserving” the customs and practices of the nation, then this government is liable to displease greatly, on issues like immigration, same-sex marriage, distancing from the EU etc.

    And indeed, on these issues there isn’t much difference between Cam and Mili. Reading comments on the Telegraph etc. they appear to see Cam as a woolly Europhile, little different to Mili and altogether too similar to Clegg.

    (Of course, there are also some UKipers who don’t think Cam has gone anywhere near far enough with the Cuts…)

    Equally a Labour supporter in many respects, but who is most concerned with EU and immigration, is also liable to see not much difference on those dimensions between Cam and Mili in practice…

  39. Good Evening All.

    Germany provided thousands of guns to the UVF 19101-1914, with the knowledge of the Crown Forces.

    On the flag issue: very surprising to see the Loyalists shooting at the forces of The Crown.

    The ‘demographic’ seems to have shifted in The North, since the days of a ‘Protestant Parliament for a Protestant State’.

    UKIP may well be a vehicle of the alienated right wing vote.

  40. I do think that there is a groundswell of dissatisfaction with the managerial style of politics, where the main parties agree on a lot of major issues, and the differences are to do with timing and style.

    There are many issues where a large minority or even a majority of voters are virtually unrepresented in Parliament – e.g. death penalty, leaving the EU, stopping unrestricted immigration, smoking in pubs etc etc.

    I know it’s only anecdotal but many people I know will either not vote next time, or will vote UKIP. They’re fed up with all 3 of the usual parties.

  41. It’s not a popularly held view, and I don’t agree with most of his politics, but I have to say I admire Nigel Farage as a political operator. UKIP imploded when he left the leadership, and resurfaced when he came back. They have a serious danger in that, like the SNP a few years ago, have one ‘face’ only, but Farage is a seriously underestimated politician.

    I suspect the chances are the UKIP will have a good GE next time around. My suspicions are that they will enjoy elections when there is a sitting Tory PM, but find those with a Labour incumbent more difficult. Right leaning voters will want to oust the lefties, so the tendency to coalesce around the only realistic winner will be greater. With Tories in No. 10, there comes the inevitable disappointment of power.

    Cameron must curtail his habit of attacking UKIPpers as loonies, fruitcakes, or odd people. It’s unedifying, and ferments the classic underdog sensation. UKIP will be delighted with this, especially as many of their supporters are Tories.

    DC needs to stop abusing them and start dealing with their concerns seriously. Politicians don’t like this, as they try to ignore opponents at first, thinking that by responding, they somehow give credence to the views of the opposition. maybe, but just insulting them instead doesn’t represent a better approach.

  42. @alexanderjcurtis

    A method that has been accurate for finding UKIP’s marginal vote-share, is not yet proven to predict UKIP winning seats.

  43. I had a conversation with @Amberstar on a previous thread about some of the policy ideas in the report by the 2020 group of Tory MPs. This is a group of around 70 MPs, including some cabinet ministers.

    Two of the ideas mentioned are to have reduce public sector pay and lower benefits in northern regions. Not new ideas, but there is a sound economic theory backing this up. I’ve often wondered whether an end to national pay rates would be good news for ‘poor’ areas, and that benefits and pay should really be measured by what they provide, rather than the actual cash amount, but that aside, I can’t help thinking this is very hard politics.

    If Tories put this in their manifesto, Labour will trade on it mercilessly. They will calculate/invent figures, call these cuts, draw boundaries much further south than intended, and generally frighten anyone north of Watford witless that those nasty Tories are out to get them. I can see some savage campaigning on this in critical midlands constituencies.

    For these reasons, I seriously doubt that these policies will ever actually come forward, which is odd, considering we already have the principle well established in many sectors with the idea of ‘London Weighting’.

    This could be one of those ideas where the political system simply cannot accommodate a policy with some reasonable theoretical background.

  44. @PETE B
    “I do think that there is a groundswell of dissatisfaction with the managerial style of politics, where the main parties agree on a lot of major issues, and the differences are to do with timing and style.”


    And spin, and advancing themselves cravenly, and betraying policies and manifestos and promises… major incentives to wind up non-aligned…

  45. Alec
    Perhaps it’s a matter of presentation or marketing? A London weighting does not sound so bad as a lower payment for the North, even if they mean the same thing.

  46. @ Alec

    Labour have simply put the benefit thing the other way to around. They’ve said that a benefit cap of £26k regardless of location penalizes people who live in areas where housing costs are high.

    Had the Tories been more thoughtful & consulted, even within their own Party (I’m thinking of Boris), they’d have presented the policy t’other way around by announcing a cap then agreeing there should be an added London weighting.

  47. @Amberstar & @Pete B – I think we are in agreement. The principle is for differentiation to reflect market conditions, but you can differentiate upwards or downwards. Tories believe there is a public appetite for benefit cuts, so want to differentiate downwards, but they have forgotten that to gain an outright majority, they will have to win more seats in those areas where they propose to show cuts.

    Another issue – are benefits in Scotland set in Westminster? If so, I can imagine the ructions if Osborne decides that these need to come down.

  48. Interesting difference in the governments treatment of this story and the approach taken to benefit recipients –

  49. @ Alec

    Benefits are same in Scotland as the rest of the UK. I do not think Osborne could get away with reducing them for all Scotland. In the Highlands & Islands, rent may be cheaper than London but the price of pretty much everything else is really high.

  50. @ Alexander

    I assume your figures are based on UKIP’s starting point in 2010 and taking into account national swing since then?

    The thing with UKIP, which most politcal commentators seem to agree on, is that they don’t have the party machinery at a local level to make that jump in one particular constituency.

    If you take the Lib Dems as a classic example of how to come through as a 3rd party they would have worked a local area for years, getting a few councillors here and there, then getting 2nd place in a general election so they could start working on the ‘two horse race’ campaign, start getting high profile councillors and so on. It’s much easier to get a local councillor elected because you can work on the personal vote on a low turnout. That then creates a feeling that it is not a wasted vote and also with councillors doing stuff for their constituents an impression of them working hard.

    I suspect that UKIP is really not doing many of those things and wonder if their member base is enough to, for example, do a full canvass and recanvass of doubtfuls, a leaflet a month outside of election time and then a leaflet a week during the campaign.

    Added to some small polling evidence that UKIP may have a ceiling of around 20% willing to consider voting for them I think that currently the odds are against them getting any MPs. Things change but there is a big mountain for them to climb.

1 2 3 4