The GE15 finding will be a deterrent for other potential defectors
The detail of the Ashcroft Rochester poll are jjust out and feature in the chart above. The 12% UKIP lead is very much in line with other recent Rochester polling from Survation and ComRes and unless there’s a sharp turnaround in the the next week Mark Reckless looks to set return to Westminster.
But there’s a huge sting in the tale for Reckless. The sample was also asked how they’s vote in next May’s general election and CON has a 1% lead.
That is small and there’s a long way to go but there’s a very strong message there.
Just 72% of those in the sample who said UKIP for the by-election plan to retain their allegiance for the general election – a finding that Tory planners will find very encouraging. Many voters do approach general elections in a very different manner to a by-election and this suggests that you cannot draw too many conclusions from the results.
The other factor that will boost Tory morale is that the possibility that Reckless will be out next May will be a huge disincentive for other defectors. It also suggests that some of the high UKIP poll ratings that we are seeing might not carry over to the general election itself.