After the European Elections we saw some pollsters, notably Survation, claim that their predicted share of the vote would have been correct if only people hadn’t mistakenly voted for Mike Nattrass grouping, ‘An Independence from Europe’.
A number of UKIP’s outriders on various forums and newspaper comment threads suggested that UKIP would have done even better in the election but for the media’s smear campaign against Nigel Farage and the party – this despite saying for weeks that the smear campaign would only serve to increase UKIP’s support and vote.
We also heard that polling was showing anything between 60-75% of UKIP voters would stick with the party at the General Election ensuring the party a record vote – fuelling claims from the Faragistas that UKIP could hold the balance of power in Westminster in May 2015 on the back of this ‘surge’.
So, what to make of two separate polls this week that show a uniform pattern?
This week’s general election poll for Lord Ashcroft shows UKIP down another two points, which is a repeat of last week, meaning UKIP has dropped four points in a fortnight.
Meanwhile, the regular poll for ComRes, showing the favourability rating of the party leaders, shows Nigel Farage has dropped six points on the index overall since April.
This isn’t a gloat. This is merely confirmation of what we have been saying for some time. There is no surge.
The European Elections were the outlet, for those who could be bothered to vote, to either stick by their party or register a protest safe in the knowledge the result is utterly meaningless. This country could have sent 73 Monster Raving Loony MEPs to Brussels and it would not have changed a thing.
For too many people UKIP has become a religion. Too many are setting aside reality and pushing arguments based on emotion and faith, they seem to have a need to demonstrate belief. The problem is their faith is in a party which has missed open goals time and again and a man who has demonstrated his pledges are no more ‘cast iron’ than those of David Cameron. The party is ignoring its core proposition and jumping on any issue where it thinks it can get votes.
The subject of leaving the EU is less important to the party’s supporters than stopping immigration – something UKIP cannot deliver because it has no plan and plainly does not understand the governance of immigration in the modern world. Farage dived onto immigration simply to hoover up the votes of those who are vehemently against it. As such the focus on leaving the EU is diluting month on month.
The current polling suggests that UKIP will be holding a bad hand in May 2015. It will not have a chip in the big game or be able to influence what happens in Westminster. The only impact the party will have is to deprive some Conservatives from winning seats. While that might make UKIP followers pleased as punch, it will do nothing to advance the cause of leaving the EU and will be followed by a slow decline as people peel away from the party, realising that supporting it is not making any difference.
These are not good times for the anti-EU side.