A new poll published by IPSOS-Mori today shows that since UKIP won its first seat in the Houses of Parliament, the attitude towards them as a legitimate political party has drastically shifted in their favour – with more people than not now believing that a vote for UKIP is not a wasted vote.
The poll, published earlier, puts the Labour Party on 33 percent, the Conservative on 30 percent, and UKIP on 16. The Liberal Democrats are currently languishing on just eight points, and are expected to lose most of their parliamentary seats in the General Election next year.
But the most interesting part of the poll according to IPSOS-Mori is the swing how many people formerly believed that voting for UKIP was a waste, to now, when the majority no longer bears that view. IPSOS reports: “…in the aftermath of Douglas Carswell’s by-election win for the party, more of the British public now disagree that voting UKIP in a general election is a wasted vote than agree.
“Just under half (48%) disagree that a general election vote for UKIP is a wasted vote, compared with 41% who agree.
“This is a turnaround from earlier this year – last month, prior to the Clacton by-election, 50% thought a UKIP vote was a vote wasted and 41% disagreed; in May, some 57% thought voting UKIP was a wasted vote and just 33% disagreed.”
The switch from nearly 60 percent who think voting UKIP was a waste, to just 41 percent over a period of five months, is likely to cause concern to the major two political parties, whose voters may abandon them in favour of Mr Farage’s.
According to the Evening Standard, the UKIP leader said: “That is a terrific breakthrough for us. The Clacton by-election proved that if you vote Ukip in the right constituency then you get Ukip. That is now in people’s minds and it will significantly boost our chances at Rochester & Strood.”
Bobby Duffy, head of public affairs at Ipsos MORI, said: “The other main parties were counting on a continuing sense that there was no point voting for Nigel Farage’s party. It may not be a surprise that the public are no longer so sure, given the by-election results – but it is still hugely important to Ukip’s prospects in the General Election.”
The pollsters note that the combined percentage of 63 for the major two parties in British politics is an historic low, while Farage remains the most popular (or rather, least unpopular) party leader.