The Ukip fox may have entered the Westminster henhouse but how many more chickens will it kill? ComRes has released a new poll revealing that Ukip is trailing in third place in ‘ten Conservative-held seats which Ukip have targeted’. Across the polled seats, the Tories are on 39 per cent, Labour on 28 and Ukip trailing on 21. While the latter party's vote share has increased by 15 per cent since 2010, ComRes's findings suggests they will struggle to win thanks to the collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote. According to the poll, a quarter of Lib Dem voters in these seats say they will now back Labour and 21 per cent will back the Tories.
But Ukip is not happy at all with this poll, with party source describing it as a 'terrible way of doing the poll'. The main beef appears to that be several of those seats polled by ComRes are not top targets for the party. Although Ukip does not want to reveal where they are targeting resources. I understand that Ukip ‘expects to do well’ in South Thanet, Boston and Skegness, Thurrock and Castle Point. I have heard nothing from the party to suggest they are targeting the other six seats ComRes polled: Forest of Dean, North Thanet, East Worthing and Shoreham, Sittingbourne and Sheppey, South Basildon and East Thurrock. It's notable that ComRes didn't poll Clacton or Rochester & Strood, where Ukip are polling much better. By choosing non-target seats, the overall polling numbers are depressed.
But whether these seats are representative of Ukip’s target strategy or not it does offer some insight into why people are backing the party. 58 per cent said its promise to bring down immigration best represents why they back Ukip, while 45 per cent say it’s because ‘Ukip tells it like it is’. Just 10 per cent say they will vote Ukip because they 'like' Nigel Farage — the same number because they 'dislike' David Cameron. On how the party is viewed, 73 per cent think Ukip offers ‘something different from the other political parties’ while 61 per cent think they are a serious party. Just under half believe the party speaks ‘common sense’ while 29 per cent say they a racist party.