h1

Polling suggests that it is going to be harder for Tories to win UKIP votes than for the LDs to win LAB ones

December 2nd, 2013

Double the %age of LAB voters will help LDs as UKIP ones the Tories

Last week’s Survation Thanet South polling last week highlighted the reluctance of UKIP voters to switch to the Tories in order to stop EdM being PM. Given that the extent that UKIP switchers are ready to vote blue looks set to be a key determinant at GE2015 I’ve been looking for other data on the issue.

Spetember’s massive 12,800 sample phone poll of marginals produced by Lord Ashcroft was divided into three big sections – national/LAB-CON/LD-CON – and a two stage voting intention question designed to tease out incumbency and/or tactical voting considerations.

Q1 If there was a general election tomorrow which party would you vote for?

Q2 Thinking specifically about your own constituency and the candidates who are likely to stand there, which party’s candidate do you think you will vote for in your own constituency at the next general election?

From the responses in each of the segments in the poll we can produce the data for the chart above.

The first two segments show the proportions of UKIP backers on Question 1 who changed their choice to CON on Question 2 when asked specifically about in the seats that the Tories are defending against Labour and the Lib Dems. As can be seen 9% in each case switch. This struck me as a very low proportion.

To put it into I’ve compared them with the figures for LAB voters, in seats that the Tories will be defending against the LDs . The assumption has been that following the coalition they would be very reluctant to back the LDs. Not so. The polling found that 19% would switch which is more than twice the UKIP to CON figures. The was one of the reasons why the yellows appear to be doing OK in their encounters with the blues.

Of course in the actual campaign the Tories will be putting huge effort into trying to identify potential UKIP switchers and to building a communication strategy around warning them of the dangers of “wasting their votes” with UKIP. My guess is that far more UKIP backers will be squeezed.

The LD campaigns in the LD-CON battlegrounds will be exactly the same with LAB supporters telling them of the risk of them helping the Tories to win a majority. Ashcroft didn’t poll LAB-LD seats but CON voters have traditionally been less willing to switch from their allegiance.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble since 2004