— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) March 14, 2013
But they’ll do far better in the non-battlegrounds
Back at the 2010 general election Ukip achieved the ranking of eleventh in terms of seats (it got none) but fourth in terms of the overall national vote share.
Then the total was 3.1% with the BNP’s on fourth place at 1.9%. Given the latter is going through really troubled times then it’s not hard to see Farage’s party getting into the second band, 5-10%, of the Ladbrokes Ukip vote share market (above).
The question is whether they can get into double figures – levels that they achieve almost all the time now in the YouGov daily poll.
One thing we do know is that they receive a disproportionate amount of support from the older age groups who are more likely to vote and in the past have been less likely to change their minds.
What could also help is in the non-battleground seats – the 560-570 of the seats that are very unlikely to change hands – there’ll be far less pressure on Ukip supporters from the Tories to support them in order to prevent a Labour govenment.
In the battle-grounds it will be very different because in these seats the blues and the reds will be allocating most of their resources and doing all they can to squeeze the purples.
The pattern could be similar to the Lib Dems in 2010 who put on most votes in the non-battleground constituencies where it didn’t matter but saw setbacks in the marginals including the ones they were defending.
So taking into account the BNP and the non-battleground factors I’m expecting Ukip to at least get into the second tier, 5-10%, on the Ladbrokes market. Will it do better? Could do but the broadcasting rules mean that because they’ve got no seats they’ll get far less coverage on TV and radio at the general election than the main parties.
In the Euros in June 2014 it will be very different.
For the latest polling and political betting news