Almost a third of voters hold views that are in tune with to UKIP policies, according to a new study.
Reuters reports that Academics from the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham carried out an analysis of 100,000 voters and 6,000 UKIP supporters, and found that support for the party is not only fuelled by Euroscepticism.
The three main reasons for supporting UKIP are concerns over the EU, hostility to mass immigration and dissatisfaction with the political establishment, with 30 percent of voters holding at least two of those views and 20 percent holding all three.
UKIP’s support has risen since the last election from 3 percent to over 10. These results, however, show the party has the potential to win over many more voters. Robert Ford, co-author of the report, said: “UKIP are currently winning over one voter in 10 but their potential far exceeds their current support in the polls.”
The report also found that most of UKIP’s new support came from deepening their core, working class vote, rather than from broadening their appeal to new groups. They have also won significant support from David Cameron’s Conservatives by tapping into dissatisfaction at the party’s perceived leftwing lurch under his leadership.
UKIP look set to beat the Conservatives into third place in the forthcoming European elections, and hope to challenge Labour for first place. In the 2009, the party finished second in the European elections, winning 13 of the UK’s 72 seats.
Despite their high poll ratings, the UK’s first-past-the-post electoral system makes it difficult for them to win seats in the House of Commons.