Pollsters should start including it in their Euro2014 prompts
Ukip is surging in the polls and, if the latest numbers are a good indication, look set to pull off a sensational result on May 22nd.
So far, however, the pollsters have yet to catch up with the possible impact of the party formed by the ex-Ukip deputy leader, Mike Nattrass, which will appear at or near the top, of every ballot paper in England under the name “An Independence from Europe – UK Independence Now“. This is a form of words that many voters will find confusing.
A good recent example of how these things can matter is what happened at the 2007 Holyrood elections when the SNP got itself to the top of the list vote on the ballots using the description “Alex Salmond for First Minister“. The party beat Labour by just one MSP in the election which was sufficient for Salmond to get the job.
Ukip itself will appear at the bottom of each ballot which, of itself, according to a wide body of academic research, will cost it votes
The Nattrass party is not a spoiler like the infamous Literal Democrats in 1994 but a serious attempt by its founder, who has been an MEP since 2004, to win seats following his own de-selection last year.
The breakaway party has already attracted a number of councillors who won county council seats in Lincolnshire last year.
Its branding, naming and position on the ballot will inevitably help it take votes intended for Ukip in the Euros on May 22nd. The “Literal Democrats” which weren’t even top of the list chalked up nearly 5%.
It is possible, surely, that An Independence from Europe could end up in fifth place with even more votes than the Greens and not too far behind the Lib Dems.
There must be a reasonable chance that it will enable Nattrass to keep his seat in Brussels. The pollsters should be measuring this.