A poll by Ipsos Mori for British Future got pretty widespread coverage yesterday. The Mail claims that it is bad new for David Cameron as it says that 43% of ‘kippers would not consider voting for the Tories (anyone surprised by this? Really, it’s what we and other polls have been saying for ages).
The Guardian give David Skelton, a man who has given himself the Sisyphean task of rolling the stone of working class voters up the hill of Tory support, a platform to claim that there is no point in the Tories taking to the centre ground of public opinion on migration and Europe to win back our votes.
But lets look at the poll from a UKIP perspective and see if has any pointers for us.
By gum it does.
Looking at the numbers is revealing.
Where to start – according to the poll, 42% of Ethnic Minority (BME) voters would never consider voting for us. This is used by Skelton as one of his key arguments against having anything to do with us. “Black and minority ethnic voters” he says, “who the party needs to win over, have a view of Ukip that is more negative than of any other group”.
OK, so far so not ideal. But lets look at these numbers from the other end of the periscope. According to the figures, 16% of BME are actively considering voting UKIP in the European Elections. A figure that, if my educated guesswork is anything to go by, has improved hugely over the last 5 years (I don’t think a similar study was done before he 2009 elections, but I am confident that my guess is pretty accurate given that 16% was our total figure at the time – happy to be corrected if so).
41% put themselves in the don’t know camp, leaving UKIP with a lot of work to do, but with a significant prize if we can be open and honest about what it is we hope for our country. In comparison 39% BME don’t know about the Tories, 32% Labour and 43% Lib/Dem which shows a sad lack of engagement, but opens up huge possibilities.
How about other numbers? The poll is broken down into
1) General and European Elections
2) General only
3) European Only
5) Don’t know
For our purposes in the run up to the May vote, I am particularly interested in points 1 and 3.
Breaking the numbers down geographically and adding those two figures together we find these numbers, worst to best.
Wales – 15%
Scotland – 17%
England – 29%
London – 25%
The North – 28%
Midlands – 32%
South (Not London) – 32%
We do worse on gender lines
Male – 32%
Female – 23%
Interesting split amongst age groups
16 – 24 – 26%
25 – 34 – 22%
35 – 44 – 21%
45 – 54 – 35%
55 – 75 – 32%
There are other figures there – even amongst those that regard themselves as Scottish not British for example he number is 12% (but with a very small sample size). Amongst those who regard themselves as English not British the numbers are very clear 43% of that group are favourable to us, with only 28% opposed.
All in the poll makes interesting, and largely positive reading. I can see a note on the report card:
“UKIP has done well this year, and is engaging with the school community pretty well. However it needs to do a little more work with the girls in the class and really should make a bit more effort making the BME pupils understand that it believes the school is for everyone who is happy with the rules. B+ With more effort could do better and surprise us all.”