The Purples look to be timing their peak right again
With only a few weeks to go to the last big set of elections before the 2015 general election, April’s PB polling average shows the extent to which UKIP is once again timing a polling surge. The figures are with changes on March LAB 36.4 (-0.1), CON 31.3 (-1.3), Ukip 14.6 (+2.7), LD 9.1 (-1.6)
So after last month’s Budget bounce, the overall Lab-Con lead is back around the 5%, where it’s been since September last year. However, whereas the upswing of that bounce was a genuine swing from LAB to CON, the downside has been all the net effect from UKIP’s rise at the expense of the government parties: Labour share was almost identical in April to March.
By contrast, the slow recovery in the Tory share that’s been evident since March 2013 may have ground to a halt: the April figure now makes the trend look like a quick recovery from the nadir in Spring 2013 followed by more-or-less flatlining at around 31-32% since. The Lib Dems too have gone backwards, to their worst figure since the series began at the start of 2012.
The big gainer in the month is UKIP, who record their best score since May 2013 and their second-best in the series as a whole (and were it possible to extend the series back, probably ever).
UKIP seem to have developed a knack for peaking at the right time and the cause-and-effect relationship between their Spring polling surges, the proximity of elections and their media coverage is something that would worth looking at in greater depth.
UKIP recorded a similar surge in 2009, at the time of both the European elections and the Expenses Scandal. The natural conclusion drawn then was that it was driven by an anti-Westminster mood – and indeed it was – but in the light of their Spring polling bounces last year and this, perhaps there was another factor in play too that was overlooked at the time, pulling people towards UKIP as well as the more potent one pushing them away from the rest.
Reminder about this evening's PB gathering. It is at Dirty Dicks (opposite Liverpool Street station in London) and will start at 6.30pm. We are on the first floor tight at the back. Looking forward to seeing as many PBers as possible..