Who is Ukip recruiting? The ‘left behind’; old, white, working-class men with few quals, in heavily white areas, lots of pensioners, Eastern England Anchored in deep social and value change in Britain, widened since the post-2008 crisis and unlikely to close in near future Motivated by ‘Brussels-Plus’; anti-EU but also anti-immigration, anti-establishment, and specifically angry over management of immigration and the post-2008 financial crisis Most are ex-Tories but not simply splinter party! But key challenges: young, women, EMs, middle-class, tactical votes, the Farage succession and first order elections (!)
Possible scenario #1 UKIP TANK External factors Overcome by majoritarian system in 2015, tactical voting Fails to secure seats, written-off irrespective of impact Conservative/Con-led victory as most Cons return to fold EU referendum briefly revives Ukip, but Eurosceptics lose Wider generational and social change drains Ukip reservoir Internal factors Farage succession fails (Knapman and Pearson) Donors are not forthcoming at general election Party implodes (as in 1996, 2000, 2004…) But what evidence do we have?...
Where are Ukip 2014 voters going? 37% of Con voters who switched to Ukip in 2014 Euros say they will return to Cons in 2015… But 52% say they will stay with Ukip in 2015 More generally, 64% of all Ukip voters (not just ex-Cons) say they will stay with Ukip in 2015 – Equivalent figure in 2010 was 29%
Possible scenario #2 UKIP THRIVE External factors Ukip win at least one seat in 2015 – certainly possible Labour re-elected in a fragile state, Cons in disarray Issue agenda remains highly favourable for Ukip – Referendum shelved, immigration remains high, Lab unable to deliver change Ukip entrench as main opp in Lab heartlands, similar to EU rad right Internal factors Farage succession goes well, ‘red/blue kipper’ takes over Targets voters disillusioned with unpopular Labour government In 2014 UKIP won popular vote in Rotherham, Rother Valley, Dudley North, Plymouth Moor View, Penistone & Stocksbridge and Great Grimsby And there is other evidence….
What data did I use today? Revolt on the Right – book on the rise of Ukip (2014) British Election Studies since 1964 British Social Attitudes survey since 1983 BES Continuous Monitoring Surveys, 2004-2013 5,593 UKIP intended voters Extensive interviews with activists Insurgency – forthcoming book on the 2015 campaign British Election Study 2014-2015 Interviews with party strategists