Ukip surges to 25% in the polls

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Ukip has surged to 25% in the polls and the soaring level of support would secure the party an astonishing 128 MPs in a general election, experts have claimed.

In a staggering study for the Mail on Sunday fresh off the back of the eurosceptic party’s by-election victory in Clacton, Nigel Farage has won the support of one in four voters and is on course to send shockwaves through parliament.

The Survation poll put the party on an all-time high and analysis has found that a repeat in May next year would see the Conservatives lose 100 seats and Ed Miliband in No 10.

Labour and the Tories are both on 31% while the Liberal Democrats are on 8%, according to the research for the newspaper.

Experts suggest that the ratings would give Labour 253 MPs, Conservatives 187, Ukip 128, Lib Dems 11, and other parties, such as the SNP, 71.

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, told the Mail on Sunday : “If Ukip are to turn votes into Commons seats in Britain’s first-past-the-post system, they need to build up bastions of local strength. Today’s poll suggests they may have begun to do that.

“T he 25% level represents a 22-point increase on the 3% the party won in 2010.

“If that increase were to occur evenly in every constituency, they could still fail to pick up a single seat.

“But today’s poll suggests Ukip’s support has increased much more in the south of England outside London than it has elsewhere in the UK – by a staggering 34 points.

“If that level was recorded throughout the South, Ukip could win as many as 128 seats, with no less than 102 of them coming from the Conservatives, whose vote in the region is down 14 points.

“In that event, Cameron would be left with just 187 seats, almost as weak a position as the Conservatives were in after their calamitous defeat in 1997.

“Mr Farage would achieve his ambition of holding the balance of power at Westminster. Any poll estimate of what is going on in an individual region is inevitably not as robust as that for the country as a whole.

“However, if Ukip are advancing more strongly in some parts of the South, its chances of establishing itself as a significant force at Westminster may well be higher than has so far been appreciated.”

Private polling analysis seen by The Sunday Times, however, puts the party on course to win a more circumspect maximum of 25 MPs, although the number is still far higher than previous predictions.

Meanwhile, an Opinium poll for The Observer gives Labour a seven-point lead over the Conservatives but more voters expect the Tories to win in the general election.

The research has Labour on 35%, the Conservatives on 28%, Ukip on 17% and the Liberal Democrats up two on 9%.

When it comes to who will win next May, 40% believe the Conservatives will come out on top compared with 38% for Labour.

The Conservatives and Labour were left reeling after Ukip dealt both sides major blows when voters went to the polls in two by-elections on Thursday.

Tory defector Douglas Carswell became the first elected MP for the eurosceptics after taking Clacton with a handsome majority of 12,404 but the party was just 617 votes shy of victory in Heywood and Middleton.

Mr Farage has ruled out entering into any form of election pact with the Conservatives despite fresh calls among Tory backbenchers for a deal to be done.

The Ukip leader hit the campaign trail in Rochester and Strood with Mr Carswell to rally support for Tory defector Mark Reckless.

Mr Farage said he was “targeting everybody in this campaign” and insisted the anti-Brussels party was “not a splinter” of the Tories.

He told Sky News: “If I was to call a silence and ask our activists here now whether they wanted a pre-election pact with the Conservatives I think I would need to be bundled into that room for my own safety.”

He added: “This party is not a splinter of the Conservative Party. This party is its own organic force.

“We want to win our own representation in Westminster and we believe only by doing that can we fundamentally change British politics.

“To sell out so that one or two people can have ministerial positions is not what Ukip’s about.

“I don’t trust David Cameron. I don’t believe a word David Cameron says and for that reason it would be fruitless to even enter into any negotiation.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband is attempting to counter the threat posed by Ukip’s by promising reforms that would mean migrants have to “earn the right” to state benefits.

In an article for the Observer, he wrote: ” I will not cede the issue of immigration to those offering fear or falsehood. So I will continue to chart a new way forward, combining stronger border controls and laws to stop the exploitation that has undermined wages of local workers, with reforms to ensure those who come here speak English and earn the right to any benefit entitlements.

” Such measures are part of a compelling and credible plan for Britain’s future that will restore the values people believe in – contribution, responsibility, fairness – to the way our country is run.”

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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