Crosby campaign consolidates the Tory right flank
An extraordinary aspect from the detailed data of today’s NOP survey in the Independent is that support for UKIP has all but disappeared. According to Anthony Wells at UK Pollingreport the pollster found just one person – specifically a woman between the ages of 35-44 living in the London region – who said she was voting for the party that secured more than 16% of the vote in last year’s Euro Elections.
Ever since that UKIP success we have been arguing here that UKIPâ€™s balloon would burst and that it would pose no real threat to any party at the the General Election. We could not have envisaged, however, a collapse on the scale indicated by NOP.
The clear message from the NOP and other recent polls is that the UKIP/Referendum Party/right wing vote that slipped away from the Tories in 1997 has now come back.
This has been the single most important factor driving the recent Tory poll improvement. So the first big impact of Lynton Crosby campaign has led to the Tories restoring their rightwing flank
But this is not all good news for Michael Howard. There’ve been no inroads at all into the 58-60% LD/Lab aggregate share that’s been almost a constant in all the surveys from the different pollsters for many months. The Tories might be getting their right-wing support back but so far, at least, they’ve not been able to win back the mainstream vote. And it might be that right-wing policies on immigation and law and order could make that task much harder.
As we have argued before – the critical factor in this election is how the Lab-LD will split. This will determine whether Blair gets his big majority or whether we have a hung parliament. Tomorrow’s budget might give us a better idea.
Â© Mike Smithson 2005