Thursday, 21 May 2009

UKIP to spend £2m on European elections to target Labour voters

The UK Independence Party will spend £2 million over the next fortnight to target Labour supporters for the first time at the European elections, The Times has learnt.

The Eurosceptic party is hoping to match on June 4 its performance in the 2004 European elections when it seized 16 per cent of the votes, beating the Liberal Democrats and taking more than half of those received by Labour and the Conservatives.

This week UKIP, which is led by Nigel Farage, began its national MEP campaign with 1,200 billboards across the country. It has also beefed up its advisory unit for the Euro elections with the recent hiring of David Cracknell, the former Sunday Times journalist.

According to a Populus poll conducted two weeks ago, just after the MPs’ expenses scandal broke, UKIP supporters accounted for 6 per cent of the 1,500 surveyed. A few days later, a YouGov poll showed a sharp bounce to 16 per cent — the same level of support for UKIP as at the elections five years ago.

Andrew Cooper, a Populus director, said: “This is a long-established pattern where voters in the UK don’t really understand what the European elections are for, so they are an easy way for the electorate to register a ‘plague on all your houses’ vote and go with UKIP.”

Mr Farage said yesterday: “Of the recent inquiries we have had from our first-time buyers [new supporters], around 60 per cent of them have come from Labour. We’re going to throw the kitchen sink in for this campaign. We used to be seen as old, male and a bit like the rugby club on a day out. But we’ve tried to make ourselves a much younger party.”


Anonymous said...

I wish the pollster from populus can start doing some proper research. People aren't voting UKIP as a protest. They're voting UKIP as they want out of the EU.

wonkotsane said...

But we’ve tried to make ourselves a much younger partyAt 31, I think I'm the oldest contributor on this blog!

People aren't voting UKIP as a protest. They're voting UKIP as they want out of the EU.Similarly, I wish they'd stop referring to UKIP as a fringe party - UKIP represents the views of the majority, it's the eurofederalists that are espousing fringe views.

D.Meyers said...

Just passing through, thought you may like to know the results of today's by-election in Irwell Riverside, Salford...

Labour 606
Lib Dem 293
BNP 276
Con 189
Green 125
UKIP 123

Turnout 17.3%

UKIP said...

yes he was a paper candidate