In an earlier article, I tried to project Westminster seats that UKIP could win in 2015 based on the 2014 Euro result. The trouble with those votes is that some of our votes would have come from pure protest voters, the question is: “how many?” I looked at 3 post-election polls to take the median of them, that 72% of our Euro voters would stick with us, while 28% would migrate back to their “normal” parties, most of them to the Tories.
When it comes to local elections, it is certainly my belief that someone who is prepared to vote for a UKIP Councillor will be prepared to vote for a UKIP MP. So, looking at Council election results, and grossing them up to a whole constituency, should give us a reliable indication of our chances in a General Election. And that is exactly what I have done. It has taken me over a month to check through all the 2014 local election results, capture them into a single workbook, and then process them.
While some branches were strong enough to field candidates in every ward, not all were. This means we have unknowns surrounding uncontested wards. I have been able to develop an algorithm which “interpolates” the differences in the results of contested and uncontested wards, for all the parties, to project what percentage we might have gained in a ward if we had put up a candidate. A by-product of this work was the realisation that in such wards the number of spoiled votes goes up, but I have already published another article on that.
Anyway, back to my analysis of the results. Another major data capture exercise was the mapping of council wards to constituencies, by relative size as well, with the added complexity that some wards are split across two constituencies – alignment of whole authorities with constituences is a very rare animal, as well.
The end result has been to show that UKIP would have won 13 seats based on the Local election results, and indeed for all those seats we fielded candidates in every ward, so the data reliability is good. What are those seats? Well, here they are:
|Hornchurch and Upminster|
|South Basildon and East Thurrock|
|Penistone and Stocksbridge|
|Plymouth, Moor View|
They are ordered in the percentage of popular vote that UKIP took and in Havering, a London Borough on the Essex boundary, it was a massive 48.74%. Well done, Havering!
Compared to the Euro election projections, there are a few surprises in there – the two Rotherham seats and Penistone and Stocksbridge for a start. Two of the Doncaster seats came close as well, all in the same area of South Yorkshire. The only conclusion is that more than 72% of our Euro voters in those constituencies will vote for us in 2015, a lot more in fact.
There are also a number of seats where we have no local election evidence from 2014 with which to verify the Euro election projections. For some of them we do have the 2013 County elections to work with, and of the two Thanet seats and Boston & Skegness would have resulted in UKIP Westminster wins (from the 2013 result), so Nigel going for one of the Thanet seats would bode well. We also had Great Yarmouth and Castle Point (Essex) which would have generated wins from our 2013 result, and the District elections this year confirmed that in spades.
Then we have the dark horses of seats with no recent local election results, but with excellent Euro results, places like the Medway towns and the Potteries. Perhaps some By Elections during the year will give us some clues, but we will not know till the fat lady sings for them, indeed, that is true in respect of all our Westminster hopes.
I will not be drawn on an absolute number of Westminster seats for 2015. It will be at least one, pessimistically it could be in single numbers, the normal range of expectation is in double figures, and if UKIP’s fortunes improve dramatically during the year, it might even touch triple figures. All I can say is just keep wishing for that fat lady to sing the right song!
Photo by vgm8383