Monday, 13 May 2013

UKIP on 18%? I don't buy this hype either - here's why

This piece originally appeared on Left Foot Forward.

Today YouGov released poll data that UKIP are on 14% - something that wasn't news to me as this is exactly the same as the calculations I made last week here.

YouGov's poll comes after data published by ICM in the Guardian which claims an 18% vote share.

So how could UKIP achieve this 18% of the national vote share? This figure, too, looks decidedly dodgy. 

If we take 31.5million or 66% of voters as a likely General Election turn out, UKIP would need 5,670,000 to reach 18%. Of that 31.5million, if UKIP polled a uniform 20% or 3,700,000 across the roughly 18.5million voters who might turn out from the UK’s shires, towns and small and medium cities and combined that with 12.5% or 1million from 8million voters in the major cities UKIP would then need 970,000 or 19.4% from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to reach 18% nationally. Given that UKIP just don’t exist in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, a 19.4% vote share there is not only very unlikely it would be miraculous. 

Give UKIP a more likely and still very generous 7.5% in the major cities and 5% in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and they’d need 4,820,000 or 26% across the entire rest of the country to make 18% of the total vote share. Again, very unlikely.

Bring UKIP’s vote share down to the 4.16% they achieved in Bristol – the only major city they’ve recently competed for the vote in - for the urban vote, totalling 330,000, and down to the 0.5% or 25,000 vote share they took in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in 2012, UKIP would be left needing 5,312,000 or 28.7% in the rest of the UK, almost a full 1% above what they polled in Eastleigh, to make the figure up to 18%. 

It just doesn't stack up I'm afraid.

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