Dave’s lead as “Best PM” is nearly wiped out when you add Nigel Farage to the equation

Dave’s lead as “Best PM” is nearly wiped out when you add Nigel Farage to the equation

Tracker questions now need to include UKIP

Even when things were at their worst in the polls for the Tories party loyalists clung onto to one polling tracker – who voters saw as “Best PM” where as the chart shows Dave had enjoyed large and in the summer increasing leads.

This helped fuel the strong pro-Dave narrative that we saw in the build-up to the conference season. Ed could never be PM, many were arguing, because he was so far behind in these ratings.

    Now however new polling has been carried out which suggests that Dave’s numbers were being artificially inflated by Nigel Farage not being included as a “Best PM” option.

All the polls in the chart above bar the last one had the options of Dave, EdM and Clegg. The final poll, published last weekend, included Farage and the Dave lead was reduced to just 3%. This was six points down on the finding with the standard options recorded 48 hours earlier.

Dave’s 28% rating in that last poll was its lowest ever since he entered Number 10. ED’s number dropped one and Clegg was unchanged at 5%.

The lesson on this, I’d suggest, is that many non-voting questions where respondents have to choose from a party or named politician list should make provision for what is currently the third biggest party, UKIP. This could include the regular “best party on immigration/economy” type questioning.

We are in a completely new situation since the rise of UKIP and polling trackers need to take that into account.

Mike Smithson

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