UKIP looks to the seaside for that elusive first past the post Westminster breakthough

August 27th, 2014

CON-held seats are the primary focus

Whenever kippers talk about their progress in 2014 they point first to their success in the May 22nd Euros. Coming top of the poll was a major breakthrough, helped by the unique closed regional list voting system.

In the first past the post elections held on the same day it was a different story – dropping 6 points on national equivalent vote share on their 2013 performance and securing 3.8% of the seats.

In this year’s Westminster by-elections they’ve chalked up respectable second places but to get an MP you need to top the poll in one of the 650 constituencies and they’ve been a long way from that.

    On the face of it a party that’s polling in the high teens should be expecting some MPs on May 7th next year but first past the post can be brutal to parties whose support is relatively even spread across the nation.

So the news that they’ve drawn up a short-list of 12 seats to be their GE2015 is important. Eastleigh, where they secured their best ever Westminster vote share in February last year is there and, so, too, are eight other seaside type seats.

Just one is currently held by Labour – an interesting decision given Farage’s rhetoric a couple of months ago about Labour being the main target.

The list above, based on one from the Ladbrokes political specialist, Shadsy, highlights first the Ladbrokes odds. In olnly one, Thanet South is UKIP the favourite.

Ladbrokes make zero seats at 11/8 the odds on how many of the 12 will go purple.

Mike Smithson

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