Ukip ‘set for big by-election win’

Published: Thursday 23rd October 2014 by The News Editor

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Ukip is on course for a resounding victory in the Rochester and Strood by-election with a new poll putting the party 13 points ahead.

The Eurosceptics are predicted to scoop up 43% of the votes, well ahead of the Conservatives on 30%, the ComRes study found.

It put Labour on 21% while the Liberal Democrats languished on just 3%, level-pegging with the Greens.

Around four in 10 voters who backed the Conservatives at the last general election intend to vote Ukip in the November 20 poll, according to the research.

But the Lib Dems are also set to lose 39% of backers to the anti-Brussels party on the day, while Labour is poised to haemorrhage 30% of its previous supporters.

Among those who did not turn up to the ballot box in 2010, 57% say they plan to support Mark Reckless, the Tory defector who triggered the by-election when he switched allegiances .

The findings sound a note of caution for the Conservative Party in the way it is fighting the campaign to retain the Kent seat – 66% of those polled said that by sending so many politicians to the constituency, the Tories were “coming across as desperate”.

Voters were fairly evenly split over whether Mr Reckless had betrayed his constituents by defecting, with 46% agreeing compared with 48% who did not.

Most voters – 62% – agreed that the by-election was a good chance for them t o show David Cameron and the Conservative Party how unhappy they are with the Government.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly warned voters that backing Ukip would pave the way for Ed Miliband take the keys to No 10.

But asked by ComRes if they were worried about that possibility, 54% disagreed compared with 38%.

The Conservatives are expected to announce the name of their candidate for the by-election later today.

They staged an open primary – a poll open to voters regardless of which party they support – to chose between local councillors Kelly Tolhurst and Anna Firth.

:: ComRes interviewed 1,500 adults in Rochester and Strood by telephone between October 17-21.

Published: Thursday 23rd October 2014 by The News Editor

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