Farage and Carswell pic.twitter.com/LN9BCE7d18
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 9, 2015
The chances of the purples fading must now be lower
One of the features of general elections in recent times is that the Lib Dems always seem to get a boost during the campaign. Thus a 4-5% increase in their final share at the election compared with pre-formal campaign polls has almost been the norm.
What has driven this is the extra attention they get from the broadcast media in the formal campaign period – something that TV and Radio stations are broadly required to give them. This is in sharp contrast to non-elections times when the third party traditionally has struggled to secure the attention of the media.
UKIP’s slight dip in some polls in recent weeks is probably down to the fact that it has found it harder to make the news in the way it was doing after the Euros in May and following the high-profile defections and subsequent by-election victories from August to November. Now Farage and Carswell can look forward to getting almost guaranteed levels of coverage from the start of April.
So it must be possible that polling levels in the mid-teens might continue until May 7th with the consequential impact on the two big parties particularly the the Tories.
But the general election is about winning seats not building up national vote shares and UKIP needs to ensure that it maintains its focus on its key targets.