Do these numbers explode the Telegraph’s UKIP myth?

Do these numbers explode the Telegraph’s UKIP myth?

Correlations between changes in vote share

LAB -0.29
LD -0.27 0.52
NAT 0.38 0.19 -0.56
UKIP 0.05 -0.13 0.07 0.03
BNP -0.01 -0.27 0.04 -0.40 -0.13

Did the anti-EU party hurt Labour most?

A couple of weeks ago the Telegraph writer, Gerald Warner, claiming the psephological science was on his side, asserted that UKIP had cost the Tories 21 seats on May 6th.

He wrote:”..Detailed examination of the election results reveals that UKIP deprived the Vichy Tories of victory in 21 seats. That is a psephological fact: it is incontrovertible. Tory spinners have tried hard, claiming that in those seats where the UKIP vote was larger than the Labour or Liberal Democrat majority over the Tory candidate, those were not necessarily ex-Conservative votes. True, a few of them may have come from elsewhere. But any respectable political analyst will confirm that the majority of UKIP votes come from disillusioned Tories. In the 21 seats in question, the UKIP vote was so much larger than the majority that there can be no doubt it was alienated Conservatives who cost Dave his victory..”

His definition of “any respectable political analyst” clearly did not include Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University Professor David Denver of Lancaster University who presented the above table at the Nottingham election post-mortem on Friday.

These are correlations and the bigger the number the greater the impact.

As can be seen Labour was the biggest loser to UKIP with a negative correlation of 0.13. The UKIP-Tory correlation, on the other hand showed a small positive for the blues.

So perhaps Mr. Warner can tell us which psephologists supported his view?

I guess that we will wait a long time.

UPDATE: I mistakenly attributed the data table to the wrong political scientist. It was in fact prepared by Professor David Denver of Lancaster University. My apologies.

Mike Smithson

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