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Wythenshawe: To maintain momentum today UKIP needs a good second place with a vote share well above 20 percent

February 13th, 2014

Being beaten by the Tories would be a severe blow

Unlike Labour, RESPECT and the Lib Dems Nigel Farage’s UKIP has not won a Westminster by-election during this parliament. It has been regularly, as the chart shows, getting second places and in three of the last five by-elections it has chalked up vote shares of more than 20%.

But getting that elusive seat at Westminster is proving a massive challenge.

    Nobody is predicting that it can win today but it does need to continue the momentum ahead of what is its big target this year – the May Euro elections. A second place with a vote share in the mid-20s would be a good perofrmance and the perception would be that it is still on the march.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll last week had it on 15% one point above the Tories but things can change rapidly in the final few days.

Meanwhile it is great to see that Sporting Index has got up its first UK political spread-betting market in a long time. This is the form of political gambling that I love the most because the more you are right the more you win and the more you are wrong the more you lose.

Without much confidence I’ve opted for a SELL bet on the turnout at 33%. For every one point above that I stand to lose my unit stake. For every point below I win. Those reports of the scale of the Labour postal vote operation have got me worried – but it’s so nice getting a spread bet on.

Let’s hope that SPIN and the other spread firms put up GE2015 commons seat markets soon.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble