Alan Bown’s money is generating headlines for UKIP that are better than the actual polling numbers themselves suggest.
The headline figures of these UKIP commissioned polls are being reported somewhat selectively. I don’t know why this is happening, but with such a small sample in each constituency (only around 500) and by only publicising the figures that exclude undecided voters and those who refused to say who they would vote for, the poll is largely meaningless.
For example, in Great Grimsby the realistic polling figures (page 6 of the table, figures rounded) are:
Lib Dems 8%
Undecided/Refused to answer 28%
With nearly a third of respondants not knowing or not saying who they will vote for, this poll really tells us nothing. Bown is wasting his money, or at best paying well over the odds for some favourable short term headlines in the Tory hating press.
Looking at the figures objectively, the Labour lead is no surprise. This was a seat the Tories failed to win, even against the most unpopular Labour government in history, falling 700 votes short of Austin Mitchell in 2010. Looking at that result gives the impression of this seat being a marginal. But in reality, the Tories have shot their bolt and now they are part of an unpopular government they were always going to fall away to more normal levels of support.
To put things into context, below is the result from Great Grimsby in 2005, which shows the more normal order of things in the constituency.
Getting back to this Survation poll for Bown/UKIP and the comparison with 2010, the Guardian’s report is little short of ludicrous:
Meanwhile Ukip is significantly outperforming its projected figure from most national polls, up 15 points on 23%, far above the 15% projected from national polling.
The UKIP vote was 6% in 2010, but when you look at the full numbers in the Survation poll, including the all important undecideds and refusals, UKIP is up 10 points to 16% – which is 50% less than the Guardian is trying to spin and completely in line with the 15% vote share projection from national polling.
It’s not a bad increase, but it is nothing like what the media is trying to spin. This is another example of the lamestream media trying to concoct a story out of nothing.
Further, when one considers UKIP’s recent election results have seen increases in their vote directly correlating with the previous BNP vote that has lost its home, the 16% today is only 5% higher than the combined UKIP/BNP 2010 share in Great Grimsby of just under 11%, shown below:
Of course, in this poll some of the refusals might be UKIP supporters and some of the undecideds could break for UKIP in 2015, so a 23% vote share is still possible, if somewhat unlikely. But as with the polling numbers released last week for Thanet South, the media coverage seems to be following an agenda that gives UKIP false hope that they are performing better than they actually are. The devil is in the numbers that are being deliberately ignored.
I have not yet looked at the Dudley polling, but I’ll wager the pattern is continued there and the headline numbers are overstating the real support the parties are getting.