Who votes Ukip? It’s a question psephologists have been trying to answer for years but Nigel Farage had a clear response on the Sunday Politics today: not just disaffected Conservatives. Based on research by Lord Ashcroft, Farage boasted that ’new Ukip’ — a party which is ‘a lot of more professional, a lot more smiley, a lot less angry’ — now has such a great influence on the Labour party, they will be forced into changing their stance on an EU referendum following May’s Euro elections:
‘There’s a long way to go between now and the next election. As we’ve seen with Conservative policy, it chops and changes…I think what the Labour party have done this week with Miliband’s speech is to open up a huge flank to us, and that’s what we’re going to go for in the European elections this coming year. I think there’s a very strong chance Labour will match the Conservatives pledge by the next election’
When quizzed on what he expects to happen at the next general election, Farage hammered home again that Ukip are taking votes from all parties:
‘Remember two thirds of our voters would never vote Conservative anyway. There is still this line of questioning that assumes that Ukip voters are shire middle-class Tories.
‘Only a third of the Ukip vote comes from the Conservative party. It’s about time the commentariat woke up to the fact that we actually appeal to blue collar voters.
And one last time for good luck:
‘No, no no, no! Look at the numbers. Only a third of our voters are Conservatives!’
For a man who dislikes sound bites, this very much sounds like one.