The latest polling from the marginals indicates voting UKIP in the key battlegrounds could lead to a Conservative rather than Labour victory next May
Evidence from the Marginals
Ashcroft polling from Labour’s top eight target constituencies doesn’t make pleasant reading from a Labour perspective. While the constituencies all show a considerable increase in UKIP support, they aren’t resulting in a split rightwing vote. If we consider the numbers, Labour lead in just two, and the Conservatives are on course to hold the rest. If anything, UKIP perhaps threaten to dillute and divide the anti-government vote; not the actual government vote share.
Harrow East: Con 40% Lab 37% UKIP 13%
Elmet & Rothwell: Con 39% Lab 35% UKIP 16%
Warwick: Con 38% Lab 34% UKIP 14%
Pendel: Con 36% Lab: 33% UKIP 17%
South Swinson: Con 34% Lab: 34% UKIP: 20%
Carmarthen West: Con 33% Lab 29% UKIP 14%
Stevenage: Con 33% Lab 38% UKIP 18%
Ealing Central: Con 24% Lab 40% UKIP 6%
The Ashcroft numbers might make for surprising reading. Labour lead in only two, and the Conservatives are set to hold the rest. And note, the only one of the marginals showing Labour significantly ahead is Ealing Central; where there is the weakest UKIP share of the vote.
Isn’t it time for us all to consider if UKIP might be more tangibly a revolt of the left? The Spectator explores these numbers here.
After all these eight constituencies are places where Labour only need a swing of between 3.5%-4% to take them. And the polling just 5 months out from the next general election suggests they can’t count on managing even that.
Then there are the other polling results from the Labour-UKIP marginals. In other words, those Labour seats most under threat from UKIP. In those, Labour are holding them by the thinnest skin of their teeth! And even then, Labour are only holding them in the polling after voters were asked to consider their own constituencies. Prior to that, UKIP would be ahead:
Great Grimbsy: Lab 35% UKIP 34% Con 20%
Rother Valley: Lab 40 UKIP 34% Con 18%
Dudley North: Labour 37% UKIP 34% Con 24%
Plymouth Moor View: Labour 35% UKIP 30% Con 26%
So UKIP may not merely deny Labour vital gains in key marginal constituencies they need to take from the Tories; but might even cost Labour seats they already hold.
The Fabians take this whole narrative so seriously they’ve published a paper titled ‘Revolt on the Left: Labour’s UKIP Problem’. So don’t just take my word for it, or even the polling evidence. Take the advice of the Fabians, as we head into GE2015, UKIP might just help the Conservatives retain power.