UKIP

Vote UKIP, get…?

NF-EM

By Lord Ashcroft

In the wake of this week’s Clegg-Farage Euro debate – the Division Two play-offs of British politics – the Conservatives in particular will be honing their pitch to former supporters tempted by UKIP.

Mr Farage says most UKIP voters are not ex-Tories, and this is true. But it is also true that they are more likely to be ex-Tories than anything else. For these people, the Conservatives have settled on the message that however much they may like what Nigel has to say, the better UKIP do next May the more likely it is that Her Majesty will have to ask Ed Miliband to form a government. (more…)

Counting the ‘Kippers

Kippers

By Lord Ashcroft

How are UKIP doing in the polls? Well, it depends which polls you look at. At the end of last month, one survey put the party on 7%; the following day another poll from a different company had them at 19%. In an article in the Independent on Sunday, Nigel Farage has accused various pollsters, and me in particular, of underestimating his party’s support and trying to reinforce the idea “that a UKIP vote is a Tory vote”. (more…)

A memo to Nigel Farage

NigelFarage

By Lord Ashcroft

Dear Nigel,

As you know I have taken quite an interest in UKIP’s fortunes, and what they portend for the Conservatives. I have followed your career with interest, and I must confess I always enjoy your contributions. I particularly liked your joke that you worked hard in the City of London for twenty years, at least until lunch time.

But there is one thing I wonder about. What exactly are you up to?

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The UKIP threat is not about Europe

UKIPConsiderers2010ToryVoters

By Lord Ashcroft

Last month the UK Independence Party came second in two parliamentary by-elections, in Rotherham and Middlesbrough. This prompted its leader, Nigel Farage, to claim his party was the new third force in British politics. UKIP now regularly pips the Liberal Democrats to third place in national voting intention polls. The rise of UKIP causes a good deal of angst among the bigger parties, particularly the Conservatives. It is not hard to see why: my research finds that 12% of those who voted Tory in 2010 now say they would vote UKIP in an election tomorrow. Half of all those who would consider voting UKIP supported the Conservatives at the last election.

Many have suggested antidotes to the rise of UKIP. These usually flow from assumptions about what the attraction of UKIP actually is. Yet these assumptions are often mistaken. (more…)

Corby: A bad result for the Conservatives, but we must keep it in perspective

By Lord Ashcroft

So, a nail-biter in Corby. Would the Liberal Democrats keep their deposit or not? The party scraped 5% in my second poll of the by-election campaign a month ago; on the day itself they failed to reach that threshold by a handful of votes.

At that stage, Labour were 22 points ahead of the Conservatives in voting intention. This finding closely matched Andy Sawford’s 21-point margin of victory, and the Tory-Labour swing. However, the vote share of both main parties was eroded over the final few weeks of the campaign.

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Lack of Tory direction is the real ‘UKIP threat’

Ukip_logo

By Lord Ashcroft

The government is having its most difficult month so far, and the voters have noticed. After troubles over party funding, conflicting advice to the public on a potential fuel strike, and a series of controversies arising from last month’s Budget, recent polls show the Labour lead solidifying as confidence in the coalition declines. One notable feature of the shifting polls is that, according to the most recent YouGov/Sun surveys, the UK Independence Party is edging ahead of the Liberal Democrats.

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