How similar are Ukip and Tory voters? Although the party hierarchies are keen to distance themselves from each other, there’s plenty of overlap in the opinions of their supporters. Firstly, both groups are enthusiastic about heading to the polls this Thursday. A few weeks ago, Ukip was slightly ahead of the other parties in the likeliness to vote ratings. Now the polling says they’re far more likely to vote than the Tories. According to the latest poll, almost three quarters of ‘kippers say they will definitely vote on Thursday compared to a little over half for the Tories:
The Tories and Ukippers have similar views on Faragiste warnings about Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants coming to the UK: they believe them. Although the prophecies of doom appear to have been false (according to the Office of National Statistics, who said that there were fewer Romanians and Bulgarians in work after transitional controls were lifted), more than a third of the public thinks that the warnings were right, and the official statistics are inaccurate. Ukippers and Conservatives are both a lot more likely to think the government is wrong than the 27 per cent of Labour voters who do:
And what about Romanian and Bulgarians coming in Britain the first place? Both parties agree that the government should restrict their rights, even if it means breaking EU laws. Again, Ukip voters feel more strongly about this than Conservative voters, while Labour voters’ intentions are different:
Interestingly, there appears to be a disagreement over the rights of EU citizens to live and work here. In another YouGov poll, just over half of the public said they support the right of EU citizens to live and work in other EU countries. Breaking this down by political parties, 50 per cent of Tory voters support their rights but 65 per cent of Ukip voters feel the complete opposite:
The fact that Tory and Ukip voters share similar opinions may explain why senior Conservatives have tried to stop calling them names. But this hasn’t stopped them attacking Ukip the party — as seen by Eric Pickles’ remarks this weekend; he said Ukip were an ‘über-nationalist’ and ‘xenophobic’ party. But the strength of kippers’ opinions on matters of immigration suggests Pickles may have a point.
Matthew Goodwin and Robert Ford argue in their book Revolt on the Right that Ukip is moving beyond disenfranchised Tories, but the opinions between the two parties are still remain remarkably in line. On most of the questions above, the opinions of Labour voters are the opposite of Ukippers and Tories.