Sunday, 19 February 2012

UKIP on 6% in YouGov poll

YouGov's latest daily poll has UKIP on 6%, just 1% behind the Lib Dems again.

You wouldn't know UKIP was trailing the Lib Dems by just 1% as it has pretty consistently for almost a year by looking at the headline figures because YouGov still insists on putting UKIP in the "other" bucket, despite snapping at the tail of the Lib Dems for months and the closest "other" party having half of UKIP's vote.  Unlike Angus Reid, YouGov has yet to recognise that UKIP is virtually level pegging with the Lib Dems on a national level and could conceivably replace them as the third party in Westminster at the next election if the prediction of them losing all but 9 of their MPs is correct.

Some other statistics in the poll are interesting and make encouraging reading.  Despite the perception that UKIP is a eurosceptic version of the Tories, 5% of people who voted Lib Dem in the last election and 1% who voted Labour intend to vote UKIP in the next election compared to 8% of Tory voters - UKIP attracts votes from left and right in similar numbers, including people who traditionally vote for the rabidly europhile of the LibLabCon.  UKIP also attracts more women voters (7%) than men (6%), putting paid to the myth that it is an old boys and blazers club and attracts more working class voters (7%) than upper and middle class (5%).  Support for UKIP is pretty even across England except for the Midlands where it falls short, although this is probably down to the "Wales effect" (YouGov, quite inexplicably, combines the Midlands and Wales which produces some strange and often irrelevant data).

YouGov's ignorance of devolution and national institutions has skewed some of the statistics.  Indifference towards the British government's £9k a year university tuition fee regime in England has been artificially inflated by including Scottish opinions on a tuition fee regime that doesn't apply to Scottish students and support for grammar schools in England has been depressed by including Scottish opinions on a grammar school system that doesn't affect Scotland.  The number of people having the opinion that the Church of England plays a valuable role in "Britain" has similarly been depressed by including the opinions of Scottish people whose national church is, of course, the Church of Scotland (still protestant but importantly, not English).

Most encouragingly, though, are the opinions on UKIP policies.  A whopping 88% agree with UKIP's policy of increasing the tax threshold to take low earners out of the tax system altogether and 56% support UKIP's policy of rewarding families and married couples through the tax system.  UKIP's policy of supporting and expanding the grammar school system is supported by most voters, as is UKIP's policy that universities should admit students based on academic ability rather than quotas.