Today's Top SOA Links
From the Wires
Lord Ashcroft Poll: UKIP Threat is Not About Europe
By: PR Newswire
Dec. 17, 2012 07:03 PM
LONDON, December 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Just a quarter of those considering voting UKIP name relations with Europe as one of the top three issues facing Britain, a new poll from Lord Ashcroft has found. He concludes that an EU referendum - though it may prove necessary in resolving Britain's relations with Europe - would attract few UKIP considerers back to the Conservatives.
The research finds that half of all voters considering supporting UKIP voted Conservative at the last election. 12% of those who voted Tory in 2010 now say they would support UKIP.
Lord Ashcroft's report, They're Thinking What We're Thinking, is based on over 20,000 interviews with voters throughout the UK and fourteen focus groups of UKIP voters and those considering voting for the party.
For UKIP considerers, immigration was more important than Britain's relations with the EU. However, more important than any policy area was the view that UKIP was on their side, shares their values, and says important things that need to be said but other parties are scared to say.
In his commentary on the research, published on Conservative Home on Tuesday 18 December, Lord Ashcroft says:
"These voters think Britain is changing for the worse. They are pessimistic, even fearful, and they want someone and something to blame. They do not think mainstream politicians are willing or able to keep their promises or change things for the better. UKIP, with its single unifying theory of what is wrong and how to put it right, has obvious attractions for them."
He notes that many are drawn to UKIP because of a wider unease, rather than specific policies:
"For voters attracted to UKIP, complaints about immigration or the EU are often part of a greater dissatisfaction with the way they see things going in Britain: they told us that schools can't hold nativity plays any more; that you can't fly a flag of St George any more; that you can't call Christmas Christmas any more; that you won't get social housing unless you're an immigrant; and that you can't speak up about these things because you'll be called a racist - but the mainstream political parties, they believe, are too in thrall to the prevailing culture of political correctness to do anything about it. For those drawn to it, UKIP's primary attraction is that it will say things that need to be said but others are scared to say."
Lord Ashcroft warns the Conservatives that UKIP were likely to do very well in the 2014 European elections, but that they should not panic if this happened:
"In our research people compared European elections to the Eurovision Song Contest; some cheerfully said that voting UKIP in these elections was just a way to 'give Europe a slap'. A strong UKIP performance in eighteen months need not mean electoral doom for the Tories the following year."
He says that the Conservatives should not employ "dog whistle" tactics but will win back potential UKIP supporters by delivering on immigration, welfare and the economy:
"Ultimately, the battle between UKIP and the Conservatives is less about ideas, policies, or even values. It is a battle between the party of easy answers and the party of tough decisions. Those who want nothing but the former will not be persuaded. Those who want the latter need to be reassured that those decisions are right, and that they are bearing fruit."
Findings from the research include:
Notes to Editors
View the report: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/prne/prnewswire/lord-ashcroft.pdf
Web 2.0 Latest News
Subscribe to the World's Most Powerful Newsletters
Subscribe to Our Rss Feeds & Get Your SYS-CON News Live!
SYS-CON Featured Whitepapers
Most Read This Week