Archive for the 'UKIP' Category


The most important result on May 7th

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Why David Cameron might be grateful to Mark Reckless defecting

Whilst it might be accurate to say every constituency result on May the 7th was important, the result in Rochester & Strood might be the one that has most impact in this parliament. Anything that helps, to borrow LBJ’s maxim, about keeping the Eurosceptics inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside pissing in, is good for the Tories, Cameron and the continued life of this government.

Given the way the scheduled In/Out referendum has dominated events since the election (and will continue to do so, even after the result, particularly if it is a small victory for IN) and the smallness of his majority, defections to UKIP or scandal would be the major causes for that majority to be wiped out, as the health of Tory MPs in recent years has been exceptionally good (it is nearly a decade since the last Tory MP died of natural causes whilst in office, and only one in the last sixteen years.)

The chances of further defections to UKIP were reduced by Mark Reckless losing, and not only did he lose, but it was a very comfortable victory for the Tory candidate Kelly Tolhurst, I’m not sure many MPs will want to join Mark Reckless in potentially being a minor footnote in history, pour encourager les autres as they say, particularly if the current contretemps in UKIP end in Douglas Carswell leaving UKIP.

The odds on the year of the next General Election are available here, 2020 is at 2/5.




UKIP becomes a one-man band once again – another extraordinary day in the life of Farage’s party

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015


The UKIP implosion Part 2: Farage accused of being “snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive”

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The fall-out from Farage’s unresignation continues

Last Friday Nigel Farage stepped down as UKIP leader following his failure to become an MP. After the weekend that was all rescinded when the party executive refused to accept it.

The following day there was a hugely publicised row between Farage and his party’s only MP Douglas Carswell.

This morning the Guardian and a number of of papers are highlighting a remarkable attack on Farage by UKIP’s campaign chief, Patrick O’Flynn in an interview with The Times that it is carrying on its front page (££).

What’s striking here is the person who is making the attacks. O’Flynn is the former political Editor of the Daily Express and his move to the party last year was regarded as a big coup. As well as the headline comments O’Flynn gets more specific:

“What’s happened since Thursday night, Friday morning has certainly laid us open to the charge that this looks like an absolutist monarchy or a personality cult,” he said. “I don’t think that even Nigel would say it’s been the most glorious chapter of his leadership..” He said the party had to ask itself why it had failed to secure a string of winnable seats, including Mr Farage’s own target in Kent..The team around Nigel himself need to reflect why it was that Thanet voted in a Ukip council but didn’t vote in Nigel as the MP for Thanet South, Mr O’Flynn said.”

This is tough stuff and it is hard to see how both Farage and O’Flynn can continue in the same party. One of them surely has to go.

No doubt we’ll see more Farage-related betting markets being announced during the day.

Mike Smithson


Farage’s “unresignation” makes him and his party look stupid

Monday, May 11th, 2015

During the campaign Farage made a big thing of him being ready to step down if he failed to win Thanet South. Well he did fail and did announce last Friday that he was resigning.

This afternoon he’s back in the job after the party’s NEC “refused to accept it”. Rubbish. It just appears as though his campaign threat was a device.

This doesn’t look good for UKIP nor Farage and makes them both appear flakey.

People will take him far less seriously in future.

Help keep PB going by making a donation to support the site's costs in the Post GE15 Appeal

Mike Smithson


So were there really shy Kippers?

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Prior to the election, there was speculation, the pollsters weren’t picking up “Shy Kippers”.

Though every single phone poll underestimated UKIP, it was within an acceptable amount, and the largest errors were from the online polls from Panelbase and Survation, who overestimated UKIP by 3%.

The polls that underestimated UKIP, on average, underestimated UKIP by 1.6%, and the polls that overestimated, did so on average by 1.9%. The online pollsters overestimated UKIP by 0.8% and the phone underestimated UKIP by 1.7%.

So for shy Kippers in the phone polls and overrepresented Kippers in the online polls, yes the data does confirm that, but given the smallness of the errors, people shouldn’t put too much faith in the Shy Kippers meme.

In what has been a difficult few days for the pollsters, they can take some comfort that they at least got the UKIP share of the vote largely right.



Shy Kippers might be a problem for pollsters like shy Tories were in the 90s

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Could the (phone) pollsters be underestimating the UKIP support?

Meet the Shy Kippers

Shy isn’t the first adjective I’d normally associate with UKIP supporters, but ever since David Cameron’s (in)famous comment about UKIP being a bunch of  “fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists mostly” there’s been a perception that UKIP are the BNP in blazers.

But look at the above chart from YouGov, it might be indicative that some Kippers are shy about admitting who they really support. We’ve seen polling that shows, UKIP are considered by the voters, to be the most extreme party, with the candidates likeliest to have racist/extreme views, and a plurality of voters seeing UKIP as racist and what  seems a regular offerings of UKIP candidates, members and activists resigning for acting in a manner that fits with David Cameron’s maxim about UKIP, so you can see why they might be embarrassed to admit their true leanings.

Generally throughout this parliament, the phone pollsters have given UKIP a lower share of the vote than online pollsters, as the below chart of the most recent UKIP share of the vote with the pollsters shows.

If people are embarrassed in telling their friends and family they plan to vote UKIP, then they might embarrased when asked by a phone pollster for their voting intention and say their voting intention is for someone other than UKIP.

Online polling does give the voter an extra layer of anonymity, given that constituency polling is done exclusively by phone, this could mean UKIP are being understated, something that might be crucial when looking at the polling in UKIP’s target seats as it appears “Shy Kippers” doesn’t cause epistemological problems, Shy Kippers could be a modern day polling problem in the same way “Shy Tories” were in the 90s.


Meanwhile more grim news for Labour in Scotland


Latest wave of Ashcroft seat polling sees UKIP taking Thurrock but losing Rochester

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Like in all Ashcroft seat polls the names of candidates were not included in the voting questions.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


New ComRes battleground polling finds UKIP struggling in its key targets

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015


This does not bode well for Farage in Thanet South

South Thanet
Boston and Skegness
Forest of Dean
Great Yarmouth
North Thanet
East Worthing and Shoreham
Sittingbourne and Sheppey
South Basildon and East Thurrock
Castle Point

A new ComRes/ITV news battleground seats poll finds the Tories holding on reasonably well in 10 seats which UKIP has made key targets. Like in the similar poll last week of LD defences in the SW the pollster has not named candidates which I think is wrong this close to the election.

The aggregated numbers speak for themselves and suggest that the Tories are set to withstand the UKIP threat in almost all of them. The list includes, of course, Thanet South.

    One key factor is that the LD collapse has bolstered both the CON and LAB votes, and is one of the key reasons for UKIP’s failure to make first or second place. 25% of 2010 LD voters say they will now vote LAB, and 21% say CON with just 8% opting for UKIP.

As you’d expect older voters are much more likely to vote UKIP than younger voters. Only 8% of 18-34s say they will vote UKIP, compared with 25% of voters aged 55+.

This was a phone poll and as we have seen these tend to show smaller shares for UKIP and bigger shares for CON than surveys carried out online.

I think Rob Ford, one of the leading academic who has studied UKIP, makes valid points in these Tweets.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble