Study: most Ukip voters ‘will stick with party’

May 31, 2014

New study contradicts ‘protest vote’ theory, giving Nigel Farage's general election hopes a boost

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Millions who voted for Ukip at the European elections will do so again at next year’s general election, predicts new research.

A ComRes study suggests that 86% of people who voted Ukip will do so again next year. Of the Ukip voters polled, 37% said they were “certain’ to vote for the party again next year, and another 49% said they were “likely” to do so. Just 14% said they would probably vote for a different party.

More than 4.3m people voted for Nigel Farage’s party in the European elections, handing the party its first national victory. The Tories came third, suggesting that many of its past supporters had defected to Ukip.

A number of Conservative cabinet ministers had claimed that Ukip’s success last week was the result of a protest vote. They said many Ukip voters were merely “lending” their votes to the party and will return to the Tory fold at the general election.

Attention now turns to next week’s by-election in Newark. A poll taken there yesterday showed the Tories leading Ukip by 36% to 28%. However, support for the Tories has fallen 18% since the general election, while Ukip’s has risen by 24%.

Meanwhile, senior Tory backbencher David Davis says his party’s repeated attacks on Ukip in the run-up to the European elections were mistaken. He tells the Daily Telegraph that it was “unwise to be rude about your potential voters”. Davis described Farage as “rather admirable” and “clever”.

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We can only hope that the 14% are all going back to Labour...