By Paul Goodman
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At the last election –
- Labour got the best part of 17,000 votes in Rotherham.
- And the Conservatives won over 6000 votes.
- UKIP won just over 2000 votes.
- Labour won almost 10,000 votes.
- The Tories gained just over 1000 votes.
- And UKIP got well over 4500 votes.
Did all of UKIP's extra 2000 votes or so have come from people who voted Conservative last time?
It's possible, but I doubt it.
Some of them must surely have come from the 7000 or so people who voted Labour in 2010, but didn't do so yesterday (and not just from the 5000 people who voted Conservative in 2010, but didn't do so yesterday).
One could, of course, counter-argue that, despite yesterday evening's results in three Labour seats (UKIP came second in Middlesbrough and third in Croydon North), UKIP is primarily a threat to the Tories in true blue Conservative seats.
For this to be true, UKIP would have to be taking a significantly larger proportion of votes from the Tories than Labour in these constituencies. It is claimed that this is so – and that UKIP cost the Conservatives up to 40 seats at the last election.
I will return to this assertion next week. In the meantime, here is the unsurpassable Anthony Wells on the matter.