“UKIP voters were much more likely than any other party’s supporters to say they did not know what kind of government they wanted to see (19 per cent). Half wanted to see the Conservatives in government either with an overall majority (35 per cent) or in coalition with the Lib Dems (14 per cent). One in five wanted a Labour government, and 11 per cent chose a Labour-Lib Dem coalition.”
That paragraph is an extract from Lord Ashcroft’s article on this site today about his survey of Conservative-Liberal Democrat marginals. I’m interested in which other party UKIP supporters contacted in this poll might vote for, if any, in the event of them deciding to switch next year.
My assumption is that a significant proportion of them will defect. I believe that UKIP will neither poll as low as the three per cent it won nationwide in 2010 nor as high as the 26 per cent it chalks up in Camborne and Redruth in the Ashcroft survey. Here is another important chart in relation to those UKIP backers.
The average across all these seats, according to another chart in the survey, is Rule Out Conservatives: 63 per cent; Rule out Labour 75 per cent per cent; Rule out LibDems 74 per cent. 49 per cent of those UKIP supporters, though dissatisfied with David Cameron, prefer him as Prime Minister to Ed Miliband.
It may of course be that all these voters stick with UKIP – and indeed that UKIP take more support over the next year or so from the other three parties, rendering these questions about their other preferences irrelevant. I believe that both these developments are very unlikely.
In Sutton & Cheam and St Austell and Newquay, a higher percentage of those sampled rule out voting Conservative than Liberal Democrat (62 per cent to 58 per cent and 75 per cent to 71 per cent respectively): in the other marginals, the reverse is the case. The implication of all these findings, put together, is less bad for David Cameron than Nick Clegg.