The latest “Future of the UK” poll by Survation for the Mail on Sunday provides a good deal of hope for UKIP at the general election, showing the party in England and Wales on 20.4 percent, enough to win a number of Westminster seats.
Survation polls have always been kinder to UKIP than others, but most UK-wide polls have shown a rise for UKIP in the last month, of around 2 percent. Survation’s methodology is arguably fairer towards UKIP than other polling firms. Instead of lumping in the party with the ‘Other’ category, they prompt for UKIP as they do for other parties, and have a fairer method of handling “don’t know” respondents.
The poll also shows where UKIP voters have come from, compared to the 2010 General Election:
The number of voters coming from the Liberal Democrat party is surprising. However, they used to attract voters who didn’t want to vote for either Labour or Conservative parties, but now they’ve been tainted with four years in coalition with the Tories, they have been revealed as being as much “establishment” as the rest of them.
Some of those switching to UKIP are “protest voters”, but for many the party represents a real break from being ruled by career politicians, giving the “real life” backgrounds of most UKIP candidates.
Comparing UKIP’s 20.4 percent with Labour’s 34.4, and the Conservatives’ 32.6, an interesting picture of a possible 2015 parliament emerges.
No one party will have enough seats to win a majority, so we would either have another coalition, a minority government, or another election.
But how many seats would UKIP win?
It has been argued that the “First Past the Post” system is unfair for new entrants into the field. However, UKIP is now reaching the same territory that the Liberal Democrats were in 2005 and 2010, the last election netting them 55 seats. Look at this graph which indicates how many seats parties can get on increasing share of the popular vote:
The Survation poll shows Labour leading with around 300 seats, the Tories nearer to 250, but UKIP might net around 40 seats in the areas they are developing as their strongholds, such as Essex, Kent and the East Coast. With eight percent, the Liberal Democrats would only hang onto a few of their citadels in the north of Scotland and other scattered places.