UKIP has announced plans to target all six seats in Worcestershire at the General Election next year, adding the electoral category of “Worcester Woman” to their list of electoral targets. Psephologists talk about Worcester Women’s significance as the group represents the middle income, aspiration and education level of the country: to win their support is considered a major breakthrough by any party.
Worcester News reports that UKIP plans to target the seats following their success at the European elections. The seats include those of the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid and the government assistant whip Harriet Baldwin.
Traditionally pollsters have talked about both “Essex Man” and “Worcester Woman”, as support from these groups indicate that a party can win government.
UKIP makes no claims to be serious contenders to win the 2015 election but recent elections show they do have genuine support from “Essex Man”. In fact some of the party’s best results came from places like Thurrock in the county east of London.
The targeting of “Middle England” will be bolstered by a poll today that suggested the vast majority of UKIP’s four million European election voters would stick with them in 2015. They had been predicted to lose large numbers of former Conservatives next year when voters are faced with a clear choice between Cameron and Miliband for Prime Minister.
However, a Comres poll funded by UKIP backer Paul Sykes suggests that 86 percent of those who voted UKIP in the European elections would remain loyal to the party. The poll backs up evidence from the local elections, in which UKIP did well despite predictions that voters would stay with traditional parties when voting for who their local councillor will be.
The poll also suggested half of those who voted for UKIP at the European elections are former Conservatives, but this figure continues to fall as more Labour supporters change sides. Indeed Labour sources are rumoured to have conceded that Rotherham will definitely fall to UKIP, perhaps even becoming a safe UKIP seat within one term.
James Carver, one of the UKIP MEPs for Worcestershire, confirmed that the party already had one candidate in the county. He said: “We won’t be rushed into the selections, but we are planning to go into it with candidates in all six seats… Whether you agree with us not, we’re putting candidates up everywhere in Worcestershire and it’ll make the other parties scratch their heads.
“Worcester is obviously a marginal seat. We plan to launch a strong campaign across the county and aim to challenge on all fronts,”
The party is also expected to do well in Newark, where they have followed their usual strategy of using a town centre shop and running a high profile by-election campaign.