Men called Nigel are twice as likely to vote for Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party as members of the general public, a new survey has discovered. Men called Dave, Nick or Ed were, by contrast, showed no real deviation from the voting intentions of the general population.
The results were compiled by YouGov, at the request of Radio 4 politics program Campaign Sidebar, by analysing the voting intentions of people with the most popular 130 names amongst the 46,000 people it has polled on the election in recent weeks.
They found that 31 percent of Nigels were planning to vote UKIP, against 16 percent of the population at large. However, Joe Twyman of YouGov told Radio 4 that the result probably had more to do with demography than a sense of kinship amongst Nigels.
“What we are picking up is the fact that Nigel tends to be a name for older men – you don’t hear people nowadays saying ‘come round and see my lovely baby Nigel’ – and it’s those people who tend to vote UKIP,” he said.
The survey found that the most likely Conservative voters are called Charlotte, followed by Fiona and Pauling; the most Labour name is Michelle, then June and Andy; Tims are most likely to be Lib Dem, followed by Kathryn and Samantha; and Jill is the most Ukip name, before Nigel and Terry.
It also uncovered the surprising detail that spelling makes a difference to party support. Those least likely to vote Conservative, for example, are women called Clare, but crucially, Clare without an ‘i’. Anns, meanwhile, are the 27th most likely to vote Tory, but Annes are the fourth, and Carols are 102 most likely to support the Tories, but Caroles are 14th.
Variants also make a difference: Anthony is the 71st most Conservative name, but Tony is the 20th.
Perhaps worryingly for David Cameron, Samanthas are the second least likely to vote Conservative, but are third most likely to vote Lib Dem. “If I was Cameron I’d be wondering exactly what was going on there”, noted Twyman.