Well, the Comres poll at the weekend was a real eye opener, wasn’t it? (data tables here) They had two parallel polls, one without prompting for UKIP in the question, and one with prompting. What’s the difference, you ask? I’ll tell you – 5% – a big difference. It means that every poll that’s been held since UKIP has been a significant force in British politics has had false results for UKIP to the tune of 5% (with the consequent knock-back to the others, more for the Tories). That’s all the poll companies except for Survation, new kid on the block.
Mind you, their customers, who paid for the poll, the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror, chose to suppress this awkward little fact. The Sunday Mirror achieved this by not even mentioning the prompted poll, and quoting the unprompted poll – they went so far as to focus on another aspect of the poll, rather than voting intention. The Independent achieved it by not publishing it online, although I presume it made the print version.
If we look back to May this year, what it means is that the average of all UK polls really was 19% at that time, rather than bumping along just above 14%. After May, UKIP’s polling took a little dip to around 17%, but has now climbed back through 19% and up to 21%, with true adjusted results allowing for prompted polling. The Comres and Survation polls represent the higher end of the statistical variation, but many UKIPpers will say it better represents the situation on the ground.
However, when we look at Regional voting intentions, it is better than that. Yes, much better! Here are the numbers per Euro region, bar Northern Ireland, in descending order:
[table id=1 /]
Looking at the figures, it is difficult to see that the numbers average out to 24%, but I assure you they do, the very low numbers for London and Scotland dragging it down enormously.
I’m smiling a lot as I look at those numbers, too. I’m standing as PPC in Southend West, in Essex, in the Eastern Region. And, to be honest, that is where we will win a lot of our Westminster seats.
The South East looks good too. OK, in stockbroker territory we won’t do so well, but that leaves other parts of the South East which are strong: the Estuary constituencies, big towns like Portsmouth, Southampton and Eastleigh, plus the HS2 corridor.
And for all those regions that are above the average figure (all bar Wales and the North East), there are hotspots, places where UKIP support is strong, such as the Doncaster/Rotherham and Black Country areas.
Nigel said 2014 was going to be a political earthquake, and it was. Our leader hasn’t yet used a physical metaphor for the 2015 election, but I will go so far as to suggest a phrase:
A Political Hurricane
Photo by Ikhlasul Amal