Over the last few days, there have been a few negative news stories about UKIP. Much of today’s forum newsletter is about setting the record straight. Firstly, there has been a big story about UKIP’s vote ‘dropping by 6%’ in an opinion poll. This poll is produced by ICM and is a monthly opinion poll. In April, they showed us at 9%. In May, this increased to 18% and in June it is now 12%. ICM’s methodology is one of the least favourable to UKIP – not only do they not include UKIP in the list of choices, but they also assume that voters who say ‘don’t know’ are likely to go back to their previous parties and include them to an extent in the figures.
The 18% result, from a company like ICM, was always likely to be a one-off result. Polls claim to be within +/-3% of the correct result 95% of the time – but even this is only true so far as they’ve got their methodology right. In other words, one poll in every 20 will be outside that ‘margin of error’. But the sequence 9%, 18%, 12% suggests that perhaps it’s last month’s poll that was out of line. There is a saying with political polling – “If a result is interesting, it’s probably wrong”. The 18% was unusual, a long way out of the ordinary for a company which gives such low UKIP vote shares. This astonishing change in a single month might suggest that there was some correction likely to follow.
So where are UKIP at the moment? Firms like Opinium and Survation have shown us at above 20%, whilst ICM and now MORI say that we’re on 12%. It’s hard to say where the Party’s support is overall, but the polls showing us on the lowest figures still group us in with ‘others’ despite the fact that we’re ahead of the Liberal Democrats in almost every poll.
Looking at all of the polls across all polling companies, comparing ‘like with like’ is the best way to see whether our support is going up or down. The elections gave us a huge boost, and most of that boost has lasted – but we may have slipped one or two percentage points from last month’s peak. This is unsurprising outside of an election period, and it is certainly not a cataclysmic loss of 6% in a short period of time.
Party Director Lisa Duffy issues call to arms in Aberdeen
With the Aberdeen Donside by-election coming up, the feeling on the ground is that - whilst Scottish elections are more difficult - there has been considerable progress and we should obtain our best ever by-election result in Scotland by quite some margin. Party Director Lisa Duffy has asked for help from UKIP activists – whether they can get there in person, or are able to donate to help:
”UKIP is the only anti-EU alternative for voters across the UK.
We're currently fighting hard in a by-election in Scotland and we need your help and support. Otto Inglis is UKIP's excellent candidate for the Aberdeen Donside by-election on June 20th. We can perform well in yet another by-election and keep up our momentum as a party of growing popularity, but only with your help. Please consider donating whatever you can in order for UKIP to provide the people of Scotland an alternative to the LibLabCon, and of course the SNP. Your contribution will be used to fight hard for the UKIP cause. Alternatively, you can join the campaign on the ground. Our team meet every morning, 10am at the Britannia Hotel, Aberdeen, Malcolm Road, AB21 9LN. Donations can be made online at http://ukip.datawareonline.co.uk/JoinOnline.aspx?type=4.
Are UKIP MEPs hard-working or lazy?
You may have seen in the media questions being raised about the attendance records of some UKIP MEPs. Different MEPs have different roles – for example, Nigel and Paul are in a position to generate substantial media coverage, and have roles within the Party as Party Leader and Deputy Leader respectively. For them, it is a priority to spend as much time as possible in the UK speaking to people across the country and letting them know what is going on. Other MEPs have roles in Brussels, directly leading the work in fighting the EU directly.
Media coverage of UKIP South East Conference
ITV reported on UKIP’s South East Conference – with Cllr. Ray Finch speaking about how the way UKIP is seen has changed in recent times. To see the report, please visit http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2013-06-10/ukip-promises-massive-political-change/.
Nigel Farage in the Daily Express
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP was in today’s Daily Express, over a new EU handbook setting out migrants’ rights to benefits, asylum and avoiding deportation. Nigel was quoted as saying ““The publication of this guide at this time is a predictably cloth-eared act by the European Union. It will act as a further encouragement to those who wish to come to the UK from [non-EU] countries, and more importantly will be used as a guide by those wishing not to be deported from the UK after arrival.” If you would like to read the full article, please visit http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/406902/Outrage-as-new-European-Union-immigration-guide-helps-migrants-claim-British-benefits.
Independent newspaper documents UKIP rise
At the same time as much of the media was looking at one poll showing a decline in UKIP support, the Independent has looked at every poll across 2013 – and found that UKIP is threatening all three of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats. The article is basically factual, and can be found online at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-lead-smallest-for-a-year-as-ukip-threatens-all-three-parties-8652863.html.
(UKIP General Secretary)