Three months to go till the Euros and concern about UKIP’s key policy, immigration, sees a sharp drop in the Issues IndexFebruary 25th, 2014
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) February 24, 2014
— The Oncoming Storm (@TheOncoming) February 25, 2014
The February Ipsos-MORI Issues Index is out and the summary findings are above. As can be seen the big mover since January has been immigration which has fallen 7%.
Also down is concern about the economy which is now lower than at any time since before the start of the recession.
The immigration move is interesting and my reading is that the issue has received nothing like the same level of news coverage as it was in the build up to the New Year and the freeing up of restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians – something that Nigel Farage and his team had made a lot of.
That Farage’s warnings might have been exaggerated is certainly going to play a key role in the campaign as the blue and the red teams try to undermine him and his party.
The weather might also have had an impact. The Issues Index tends to reflect what has been making the headlines and, as we know, the rain, storms and flooding have been dominating the news.
What’s matters now for UKIP is whether they can revive interest in the issue that many believe has been driving their surge. If they can then their stated target of coming top on votes might be achieved. If not then they’ve wrongly built up expectations.